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Cesc Wants Alonso But Is He Really Our Best Option?

Xabi Alonso and Cesc Fabregas

by Rachid Parchment

So it’s the end of the season again and it’s possibly the most annoying time of the year for a football fan. It’s that time of the year when we have no football and majority of us are left mulling over what went wrong over the course of the past season and what should be done to correct those wrongs to prevent a déjà vu the following season. It’s very annoying because we all know we have to wait until July 1st, the earliest, to see changes being made and it’s as though time toys with us with how the days seem to drag on until that point.

Cesc Fabregas has been doing some thinking about what the Arsenal squad needs. He posits that our midfield could be strengthened with the addition of his Spanish compatriot Xabi Alonso. According to Fabregas:

“We need someone in the middle to make competition and make a difference, plus give us a new dimension

“I think that is all we need. The rest is perfect.

“Xabi would be great. He’s experienced and can score goals. I’m sure the boss is aware of that fact.”

Cesc obviously has a great relationship with Alonso as they play together in the Spanish team and during Cesc’s time on the sidelines with injury earlier this year (ironically because of Alonso), it was Alonso who offered him as much encouragement as he could via telephone calls. When Cesc took to the pitch in some matches to replace Iniesta in midfield he did well with Alonso and it showed as Spain had the most efficient midfield in the tournament as they went on to become European champions.

I think Alonso would make a great addition to the Arsenal squad. No doubt about it. My concern though is that it would cost too much for us to attain his services. Liverpool made it very clear last summer that they wanted Gareth Barry and in preparing to sign him they also made it clear that they were ready to show Xabi Alonso the door in order to make room for him. This year it seems they’ve been eyeing the Aston Villa skipper once more and it means that maybe Alonso will need to make plans to play his football elsewhere next season if they’re serious about getting Barry. Liverpool have financial problems and in order to afford Barry they’ll be looking to use whatever money gained from the sale of Alonso.

We all know English players don’t come cheap (for whatever reason that is) and Martin O’Neil already placed an £18M price tag on Barry last year and I can’t see any reason for him to lower it this year. If we’re going to sign Alonso he won’t come cheap. This is why I have thought out another solution to this and I’ll now explain it:

Emmanuel Adebayor has fallen from grace at the Emirates Stadium this season. The fans don’t like him and after his interview with the BBC a few weeks ago he’s made it clear he’s not too fond of the fans either. It seems that this is a bad relationship that has gone beyond repair and I think it’s in everyone’s best interest if he’s sold. Last season Adebayor could have been valued at between £25M and £30M (£1M for every goal he scored) but this season his stock has fallen somewhat and I’d say his value would realistically be somewhere between £15M and £20M. What I think we should do is contact AC Milan and offer him to them for between £8M and £13M and ask to have Mathieu Flamini in a part exchange deal.

Flamini already has Premiership experience and has already played alongside Fabregas in a team that came very close to winning the domestic title in 2008 and he knows exactly what to do to make sure Fabregas has all the freedom he needs to perform at his best. Not only does Flamini fit the bill as a proper midfield partner for Fabregas but he’s also very handy in situations where we have a shortage of defenders due to injury. We can look back to the 2005/2006 season for proof of this where he played at left back and at right back in some games during that season.

Flamini asking for a high wage wouldn’t be a problem as Adebayor would no longer be around and that £80,000 we’d normally be paying him would now go towards Flamini’s salary. You may say it’s gonna be a £20,000 pay cut from what he’s currently receiving at Milan but what about the extra funds we have prepared for signing a new player, regardless of whether Adebayor goes?

With that transfer taken care of, Arsene Wenger could focus on spending the transfer kitty he received for this summer on signing a quality center back to bolster our defence.

Our strike force may seem a bit light now that Adebayor’s gone but we’d still have Arshavin, Bendtner, Eduardo, van Persie, Vela and Walcott in attack and the space left by Adebayor could now be filled by Jay Simpson. It would mean that Simpson would make a return to our squad as our junior striker, much like Vela did last year on his return from Osasuna and the Mexican could move up the ranks in our strikers list. I for one am positive about what Jay Simpson has in store as he has more technical ability that Adebayor although Adebayor offered more aerial prowess. Many Arsenal fans have criticised Adebayor for not playing for the shirt and who could blame them after all the careless things he’s said about the club and his role at the club this season? Jay Simpson has been playing in the Arsenal youth system since age 9 and is a genuine fan of the club. With Adebayor gone we’d be losing a player that’s only committed to the almighty dollar and gaining a player who has grown up loving the club.

I know Jay Simpson isn’t necessarily ready for regular first team football at Arsenal but to deal with this I say we leave our traditional 4 4 2 formation behind and adopt a 4 3 3 formation like Barcelona have used and have been successful with. It would mean we would have a regular starting line up which would look something like this:

Almunia in goal; Sagna, Toure, Gallas and Clichy as our back four with Flamini just ahead of them covering the defence; Fabregas and either Nasri or Rosicky would be on either side of Flamini and in attack we’d have either Walcott or Arshavin on the right of attack with Eduardo playing a central role and van Persie would be on the left side.

On the bench we’d have: Fabianski, Coloccini, Song, Eboue, Nasri or Rosicky, Bendtner, Vela

I know Coloccini has raised eyebrows there but he’d be my choice as the center back we should bring in. I can’t bother to go into my reason for that now but there’ll be another blog in the future explaining why I think he should be a candidate.

What do you make of this? Feel free to leave a response below as long as it’s rational and respectful. Bye for now.

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