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Trophies Won with New Club: 4 to date
Player Grade: B+
Arsenal Grade: C
Losing Fabregas was always going to be painful, but hardly unexpected. Arsenal knew it was only a matter of time before the Barcelona youth product returned home.
Unfortunately, so did everyone else, which hampered the club's ability to negotiate.
After damagingly protracted negotiations which dragged into the start of the Premier League season, Barcelona finally got their man for a reported £35 million. A month later, The Independent reported that Barcelona vice-president Josep Bartomeu acknowledged to Catalan paper Sport that Cesc was actually worth Arsenal's initial valuation of over £50 million.
Arsenal's failure to deal effectively with a transfer everyone knew was on the horizon not only cost them £15 million, but contributed to their worst Premier League start in years.
As for Cesc, joining Pep Guardiola's Barcelona was essentially guaranteed to end his trophy drought, and it delivered almost immediately with the 2011 UEFA Supercup win.
Yet it has not necessarily been an unblemished dream move. Champions League success continued to elude him. And Cesc's arrival coincided with Barcelona's first losing La Liga campaign in four years, a fact some observers have suggested is more than coincidence.