Our course it’s a novel idea – by that, I mean it’s apt fiction for a novel – but whilst the tabloid press and even some of the broadsheets have implied Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is preparing to bring the former skipper back to the Emirates to re-capture his ‘Arsenal DNA’, I highly doubt the boss is even considering it.
Arsenal aren’t the only fans harking back to yesteryear – Manchester United enjoy a similar relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo, Liverpool with Xabi Alonso and Chelsea with Jose Mourinho (oh, wait, never mind) – but since the Spaniard went back to his homeland in 2011, Arsenal have moved on – at least the manager, the team and the players have.
First Wenger brought in Mikel Arteta from Everton in the same summer and then his compatriot Santi Cazorla last time around. They also have a matured and refined Jack Wilshere, and a new and improved Aaron Ramsey.
Then there’s always Abou Diaby who will eventually be like a new signing (again). Down in the reserves, Wenger’s keeping German wonderkid Thomas Eisfeld on ice and the other Tomas (Rosicky) always crawls out the woodwork just when they need him. Is there even a place for Fabregas any more?
What the Gunners desperate need (rather than crave and long for) is a top quality striker and a defensive midfielder and despite Spain and Barcelona’s insistence on playing him as a false number 9 or a false number 5, he’s actually neither.
Earlier on this summer I discussed the possibility of how he potentially could fit into the Arsenal line-up alongside Cazorla and Wilshere but I think, deep down, even Gooners with the most nostalgic of tendencies know that it just wouldn’t work – not as a first-choice trio anyway and if Fabregas came in to bring depth and competition for places, that would likely mean one of the other two would lose their place.
Cazorla was easily Arsenal’s best player in his debut season in England and Wilshere is hailed as the very best this country has to offer. If, for example, Rosicky went out, I could see a more genuine requirement for the long lost captain but that doesn’t look likely.
The back pages may claim Arsenal are preparing a £25 million bid and, whilst I suspect they would take him if they were offered first dibs, I don’t think he wants to leave Catalonia just yet and I don’t think Wenger is going to make him a priority.
As much as the fans would love to see him back at the Emirates, I very much doubt that their dreams will be realized this summer. I think the boss is dreaming of a proper striker and a proper defensive midfielder to go with a proper second-choice goalkeeper.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald