The pressure on Arsenal to sign a big name striker has never been greater

Arsenal passed on their option to re-sign former captain Cesc Fabregas who instead has been confirmed as the newest addition to join Chelsea from Barcelona.

Having answered the questions of the fans on the pitch, in trophy cabinet, and in the transfer market in the last 12 months, Wenger may now find himself having to answer new questions raised by the decision to allow Fabregas to sign for a bitter rival.

The fans will likely now demand a big spend once again in the transfer market this summer as a marker of why a world-class player, a club hero, had been passed over.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will no doubt have been one of the first people made aware of his potential availability by Barcelona, as the Gunners retained the first right of refusal should the Spanish giants decide to sell him. However, the French coach clearly chose to decline the offer to re-sign the former skipper who now joined Premier League rivals Chelsea for a fee in the region of £30 million.

Why this has occurred is likely what Arsenal fans are wondering – it is not a sight to behold for Gunners fans to see their former captain and prodigal son join Jose Mourinho at their London rivals but ultimately this was a decision taken by the manager.

The 64-year-old coach has been under pressure in recent windows to spend until the signing of Mesut Ozil 9 months ago for £42.5 million and the FA Cup win last month to end the club’s nine-year trophy drought in a sensational comeback against Hull at Wembley.

Arsenal are in desperate need of a striker and whilst the likes of Alvaro Morata, Loic Remy, and Wilfried Bony have been placed in the frame in recent weeks, I believe the pass over Fabregas hints that Wenger intends to spend big on a proven world-class talent in his forward department.

Other strikers linked in recent weeks and months include Karim Benzema, Mario Balotelli, Mario Mandzukic, and Jackson Martinez and those would be the kind of signings fans would expect Wenger to make – any one of them could likely command a fee of £40 million. An unwillingness to spend £30 million on another midfielder would have been the decisive factor in the boss’ thinking over Fabregas this summer.

The club were also linked in January with Schalke youngster Julian Draxler but the perception is that Arsenal were not prepared to meet the German outfit’s valuation of the attacker who reportedly has a release clause that of £38 million that can be activated by any club this summer.

Whilst the sight of Cesc Fabregas posing with a Blues shirt will not have been a pleasant vision for Arsenal fans, the decision to pass over the former skipper will have been made with foresight by the manager and supporters will hope the Frenchman has a top striker signing up his sleeve as consolation.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch