The annual rumours concerning Cesc Fabregas's return to Barcelona are flying around once again. The 23 year old who left Barca at the age of 16 has become Arsenal's captain and play-maker.
The question of whether Fabregas should return to Barcelona or not is difficult. Whilst Arsenal haven't won a major competition since the 2005 FA Cup, their team is young and many believe they aren't far away from a major title.
Arsenal are playing at the top level of club football. They are a threat every year in both the Champions League and the Premier League. However, there are constant allegations that they rely on Fabregas, and without him they aren't good enough to cut it at the top level.
If this is true and Fabregas were to miss part of a season and end up playing Europa League football as Gerrard & Torres will do next year if they stay at Liverpool, would Fabregas be happy? Given the fierce competition for a starting position in the Spain midfield, is Fabregas prepared to risk missing out on the top level of club football?
Cesc Fabregas's home is Barcelona, not London. He is a life-long Barca fan and has said before that he would like, one day, to return to Barcelona. He learnt his football there and played with Messi in the youth teams. On top of all this, Barcelona are at the top of the pile when it comes to the best football teams in the world. They destroyed Arsenal in the Champions League, Messi scoring four in one leg. If Cesc is after trophies, Barcelona is the place to be right now.
But would he make the team? It's hard to tell, but given Barcelona's wish to sign him, the answer seems to be yes.
If he can get football week in week out at Barcelona, it seems a no-brainer for Cesc. His home is Barcelona, his family is there and so is his heart. Furthermore, he'd be playing with his national teammates every week, something that can only benefit him and Spain internationally.
Whilst he has proved he can play exceptionally well in the more physical Premier League, his height of 5 ft 9 in (1.75) and relatively light build are more suited to La Liga. He has become more aggressive in recent years, but his natural style of play is as a skillful playmaker. There can be no doubt that he'd fit in at Barcelona.
Arsenal have been very good to Fabregas, he has been playing full time for the club since the start of the 2004-2005 season, when he was just 17. He may have begun his career at Barcelona, but his years at Arsenal have made him the player he is today. For that he should be grateful and he owes them for it, but Arsenal could stunt his growth if they fail to start winning trophies.
He clearly wants to return to Barcelona although he says he is "not in a rush to leave". Right now, Barcelona is the place to be and Arsenal simply isn't. Therefore, it is probably time for him to leave, however sad it may be for Arsenal's fans.
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