Why is Barcelona trying to sign Cesc Fabregas? Why, when they already have the best central midfielder pairing in Xavi and Iniesta, are they willing to spend another 40-45 million euros on another central midfielder?
And also, where in the name of heaven will Fabregas play—with two superior midfielders in Xavi and Iniesta most definitely above him in the pecking order? Why, also, do they want to take away Arsenal's captain and most iconic player of the current squad?
These are questions being thrown around by many of Barcelona's detractors, as well as the indignant and irritated Arsenal fans.
And their irritation is understandable—with the number of Arsenal players they have signed over the past years (including Thierry Henry, Alex Hleb, and Sylvinho), Barcelona does give the impression of regarding Arsenal as their unofficial "feeder club".
But do they realise who Barcelona is asking for right now? Fabregas is one of Barcelona's own—a product of their famed La Masia youth academy. Barcelona wants to bring him back after his premature exit from the Nou Camp at the early age of 16, and he has already admitted that he would love to move back home.
Why does Barcelona want him when they already have two similar players in Xavi and Iniesta?
That is, honestly, a rather silly question. If the people asking this would care to see Barcelona's record over the last season they will realise that Andres Iniesta, though a brilliant player, is highly prone to injury.
He was out for spells totalling nearly three months last season. Who will play when he is injured (which, incidentally, is pretty often)? No prizes for guessing.
And Fabregas will not just be a highly expensive cover for Iniesta or Xavi. Fabregas' arrival will make Barcelona's midfield the best in the world, and indeed, one of the deadliest ever. It will also provide the sort of rotation options that most coaches would drool over.
The midfield load that would previously be shared by Xavi and Iniesta alone would now be spread equally among Xavi, Iniesta, and Fabregas—without any appreciable drop in quality or creativity.
Next season, Barcelona will be competing for six trophies, and will be playing a maximum of almost seventy games in a shortened year because of the upcoming World Cup. Then there is the African Cup of Nations to consider, during which two midfielders, Toure and Keita, will be unavailable.
With the number of games coming up, it seems silly to rely on only two central midfielders.
Why, even when Barcelona had Deco, Ronaldinho, and Xavi they had creative cover in the form of Iniesta. Creativity in midfield is something Barcelona cannot do without, as their entire game is based on possession football. Cesc provides this creativity, even when Xavi/Iniesta are unavailable.
Another factor to be considered is that Xavi is nearing 30. Though he is still brilliant and sharp, there is a possibility that in a couple of years the spark will begin to leave him. In that case, who better to replace him than Fabregas? The transition of power in Barcelona's midfield will be seamless and smooth if Cesc is bought now.
Lastly, there is the question of the price. The figure being quoted is in the region of 40-45 million euros. How is this a "ridiculous" price as some are claiming? How many young, creative midfielders, who are already captains of their team, will you get for a cheaper price than that?
And also, how on earth can you expect to pay less than that when even Emmanuel Adebayor costs £25 million in the current economic climate?
The transfer of Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona does seem unlikely this season, I agree. However, if it goes through, it will be an absolutely fantastic piece of business by Barcelona.
They will get an established, young, Catalan central midfielder who will undoubtedly lead the line in the years to come.