Can Arsenal replace Fabregas?
By Simon Sparrowhawk.
Cesc Fabregas’ move to Barcelona is edging closer and closer by the day and Arsenal need to find his replacement sooner rather than later. The Gunners are expected to receive around £40million for their talismanic skipper and a large portion of that will have to be spent on a direct replacement.
Samir Nasri impressed, on occasion, filling in for Fabregas at the tail end of last season but cannot play regularly as part of a two man partnership, while the unfortunate Aaron Ramsey is sidelined for the foreseeable future with a horrific broken leg. There have been countless names thrown about in the press regarding who Wenger should set his sights on, but who would be the ideal candidate?
Mikel Arteta: Everton’s creative mastermind is attracting admiring glances from many of the country’s leading managers. Rumours have surfaced about prospective bids from Manchester City, Manchester United and the Gunners, even Chelsea have been name-checked. The Spaniard would cost in the region of £20million, a small price to pay for a man of Arteta’s talents. However, could Wenger net the former Barcelona and Rangers midfielder? With City and United both in the race, the Gunners are an outside bet.
David Silva: No surprise that another Spanish magician is in the running, the World Cup favourites are spoilt for choice in that area. Valencia midfielder Silva has been close to leaving the Mestalla for as long as I can remember, due to the club’s huge financial problems. Silva has everything Wenger looks for in a player. He is short, quick and brimming with technical ability. However, that could be the problem. Silva plays a more advanced role with Valencia and would be a more suitable replacement for Andrey Arshavin or Samir Nasri. At £25million, he could be an expensive risk.
James Milner: Aston Villa midfield man Milner is wanted by almost everyone in the upper reaches of the Premier League. Man City, Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal have all been mentioned but it is Wenger who needs him most. Milner is an all action operator and although his technical ability does not match that of Arteta or Silva he is stronger in other areas. Milner is not afraid to put his foot in or chase down lost causes and if Wenger can convince him to swap Villa Park for the Emirates it would be an astute capture.
Joao Moutinho: Sporting Lisbon’s star man has been on every club in Europe’s radar for what seems like an eternity. Moutinho was highly thought of before Cristiano Ronaldo or Nani had emerged from the Lisbon Academy but he remains in the Portuguese capital. It is surely only a matter of time before somebody takes the plunge and snaps him up. Moutinho plays in a similar style to Deco but with a more aggressive edge to his game and, although Lisbon would want a sizeable sum to part with their star asset, he would be the cheapest option so far.
Bastian Schweinsteiger: The Bayern Munich academy graduate has been linked with Chelsea and Liverpool but both have other priorities this summer. Arsenal could steal in under the radar and grab the German international from under their noses. Schweinsteiger would cost in the region of £15million and, similar to Milner, would give the Gunners midfield a more combative edge. He provides a goal threat from the middle of the park but tracks back too. A potential World Cup star, Schweinsteiger’s stock will only rise in South Africa.
The news of Fabregas’ impending departure will have devastated the Emirates faithful but if they replace him properly then it could be a real turning point for the Gunners.
Arsene Wenger has a huge decision to make, for the sake of the Gunners, he must make the correct one. Who should he buy? Or does he even need to?
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Gabriel Jesus is at Arsenal's London Colney training ground meeting his new team mates...