5 Reasons Why Manchester United Don't Need Cesc Fabregas
Bleacher Report’s Guillem Balague reported in the week that Fabregas was “surplus to requirements” at the Catalan giants, and that a host of Premier League clubs would lead the chase for his signature.
Naturally, United’s need for a midfielder or two means the switch would make sense but do the club really need Fabregas?
No, and here are five reasons why…
Fabregas Won’t Solve United’s Midfield Problems
Clearly, this is a summer when United simply have to rebuild their midfield.
But Fabregas is, for all intents and purposes, an attacking midfielder, someone who comes to life in the final third of the pitch. United’s problems lie much deeper than that; they need someone who can dominate in and around the centre circle.
United need a player who can win the ball and instigate attacks, a player who can be effective from box to box. Moreover, they need some dynamism and energy in midfield, and Fabregas is just not that type of player.
He’s a wonderful technician, capable of providing more than his fair share of goals and assists in a season, but that’s not a priority for United.
Rather, they need someone who has more of an all-round game.
United Have Enough Attacking Threat Without Fabregas
Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata, Danny Welbeck, Shinji Kagawa and Adnan Januzaj will all be vying for a place in the starting XI under Louis van Gaal. Despite a poor 2013/14 campaign, that is an embarrassment of riches whichever way you look at it.
Now add Fabregas to that list…
His signing would give United plenty of options and depth in attack, but the aforementioned list of players suggests Van Gaal will already have enough to choose from.
When you consider United’s needs this summer and reflect on the current squad, it’s difficult to justify adding Fabregas to a team that’s already attack-heavy.
United Can Save Money by Promoting Youth
Fabregas won’t come cheaply from Barcelona. Not only would it take £30 million or so to sign him, but he would also demand high wages.
Very quickly, United would be investing huge sums of money in a player who is not by any means a necessity. It would be more in keeping with United’s traditions if they promoted young players.
The likes of Jesse Lingard and Nick Powell, both out on loan during the 2013/14 season, along with Tom Lawrence, James Wilson and Andreas Pereira, would benefit from extra playing time in the senior squad.
The emergence of Adnan Januzaj over the last 12 months attests to that.
And so, you’d have to question whether signing a 27-year-old who went from Barcelona to Arsenal and back to Barcelona is the United way.
Fabregas is an outstanding player but, in this instance, United would be better off saving their money and focusing on promoting young talent.
Fabregas Would Clash with Rooney, Mata and Kagawa
Fabregas started 25 of his 45 games for Barcelona in the 2013/14 season in central midfield, per WhoScored.com, but he had Sergio Busquets, arguably the best defensive midfielder in world football, playing behind him.
Really, he was playing slightly further ahead in an attacking central midfield role.
And that’s worth mentioning because United already have Rooney and Mata playing in that position, and Kagawa remains at the ready should that duo become injured or suspended.
Fabregas would undoubtedly add a touch of class to United’s attack, but is he enough of an upgrade from Rooney or Mata to warrant the expenditure?
Really, the answer depends on Van Gaal’s vision for United—but common sense would dictate that a trio of Rooney, Kagawa and, most importantly, Mata is strong enough going into the 2014/15 campaign.
Fabregas Would Create an Imbalanced Midfield
Van Gaal’s preferred 4-3-3 system, the fulcrum of his philosophy, involves a midfield triangle with an attacking midfielder at the tip of two, more traditional central midfielders.
Assuming that the player at the tip of Van Gaal’s midfield will either be Mata or Rooney—and that really is an assumption given the tinkering the Dutchman has become renowned for—that leaves two slightly deeper central midfield roles for Fabregas to fill.
The worry is that having Fabregas in one of those roles would create an imbalance, exposing United’s back four and offloading much of the defensive responsibility onto the third midfielder in that triangle or pyramid.
If United want to get the best out of Mata, he must be free of defensive responsibility. He’s not proactive in trying to win the ball back, which is why he must be anchored by two versatile, robust and physically capable midfielders.
Fabregas just doesn’t fit the bill in that regard.