Before we go any further with this article let me start with a disclaimer. I am an Arsenal fan, who loves Cesc Fabregas for his performances in an Arsenal shirt over the past eight years and would be genuinely saddened to see him leave the club.
Now the man love is out of the way onto my point. Fabregas needs to leave Arsenal. Having a player who has his eyes on the prize at Barcelona is seriously damaging our club. A captain who is only half interested can’t provide good vibes within the dressing room and a captain whose prime motive is to impress the club he wishes to join is detrimental to Arsenal’s cause, note the Champions League second leg in the Nou Camp.You would think offloading Fabregas for an astronomical fee wouldn’t be a problem, after Xavi and Iniesta he is probably the best central midfielder in the world. Yet there is a problem. Fabregas has declared he is only interested in joining Barca and Wenger has declared himself relaxed over the issue.
This creates a false market, without competition for his signature; Barca can get away with paying below the market value for Fabregas, they say around £30 – £35 million. Clearly this isn’t market value when they have recently submitted bids for unproven talent such as Neymar and Alexis Sanchez that eclipse this value, of course both are subject to a bidding war so Barcelona was forced to pay more.
My solution, transfer list Fabregas. Open a bidding war for him, with AC Milan, Juventus, Real Madrid and god forebid Chelsea or Manchester City all with vast sums of money burning a hole in their pockets and in need of a Fabregas type player, let’s see how much he’s really worth. My estimation would be at least £50 million if not more.
Sure it’s a controversial approach and it would cost Arsenal a few million in paying Cesc bonuses he was due, but enough is enough. Firstly, this would force Barca to pay the market rate for him, if they aren’t willing to cough up well there you go Cesc, Barca don’t really value you.
Then if Cesc doesn’t want to leave Arsenal as he claims, he can stay, in the knowledge his hometown club don’t really want him and focus back on Arsneal. Or he can leave to the highest bidder, Arsenal can spend the best part of £50 million rebuilding and end this period of limbo Fabregas and Barca are holding us in.
I’d hate to see him go, but if his heart’s not in it, let’s get the maximum value for him.
But what is his market value? With Chelsea interested in Javier Pastore, he won’t be leaving Palermo for less than €50m (£45m) even though valued at €60m by club president Maurizio Zamperini, with Fabregas one of the best in the world surely he is worth more? See below for the Opta comparison of both players:
Looking at the head-to-head stats we can firstly see that Fabregas is an established international having played many more times for the current world champions, even though only 2 years older. Moving on to the performance stats, we need to remember that they are not a complete like-for-like comparison due to Fabregas paying less games:
Both players being very similar in their shooting accuracy and also the chances created, Fabregas has a better pass and dribble completion, with Pastore being superior in his cross completition. Pastore has scored more goals where Fabregas has more assists in fewer games. We can see the differences between the players in terms of amount of dribbles and shots, Pastore played a more attacking role in the 2010/11 season for Palermo.
It is interesting reading as the stats are not wildly different, both players are clearly integral to their teams. In regards of what they are worth Fabregas should command the bigger transfer fee, he is an established international with proven quality and plenty of achievements to his name. Although the quality of Pastore is not in question, the transfer fee should be.
Other tranfers and the market in general, will define the going rate for a player, over-inflated or not, if Pastore will be leaving for €40m-€50m then the market should define that Fabregas should only leave for €50m-€60m bracket. Maybe Arsenal need to follow the example of Spurs, dig their heels in and make sure if Fabregas goes, it is for the right price.
Special thanks to the boys at Opta, make sure you follow @optajoe daily stat attack and facts…knowledge is the bomb.