How will Cesc Fabregas fit in Arsene Wenger’s plans if he did return to the North London club this summer?
Thierry Henry, Sol Campbell, Jens Lehmann and Mathieu Flamini have all experienced second spells at Arsenal, and now we could witness the mother of all returns to the Emirates Stadium.
According to recent reports in the English media, the Gunners are eyeing a move for Cesc Fabregas. The Spain international has had a mixed three years at Barcelona and is reportedly willing to leave Camp Nou.
While the 27-year-old midfielder might have burnt his bridges with several Arsenal fans after reports of him being disgruntled in his final season with the Gunners, he still remains a superb player.
But how will Fabregas fit in the current Arsenal starting lineup? Now, this is what most Gunners fans are concerned about. With Arsene Wenger's midfield looking well stocked of attacking midfield options, it begs the question: just how will he operate if he returns?
Well, he can come in as a replacement for current Arsenal vice-captain Mikel Arteta due to his excellent range of passing and awareness that the likes of Andrea Pirlo and Steven Gerrard possess. But doubts remain over his defensive attributes and recovery rate.
The option of playing him as the team's furthest man in attack sounds as extreme as they come with Fabregas’ lack of pace quite apparent, but considering the Spaniard's newfound anticipation and composure in front of goal, coupled with Wenger having experience in converting attackers into proper centre-forwards, perhaps the notion of him being Arsenal's false nine isn't far-fetched.
Perhaps, the most logical thing to do would be fielding the World Cup winner in his accustomed No. 10 role, thereby shifting record signing Mesut Ozil to the wings, with the belief that the German's movement and experience of playing out wide in his Bundesliga days would see him combine intelligently with a very direct playmaker.
After all, having a midfield comprised of Aaron Ramsey, Ozil and Fabregas with a proper screener behind them would be an excellent base for launching waves of attack. And that only adds more firepower to the Arsenal cannon.