Arsenal Transfers: Top 10 Possible Replacements for Cesc Fabregas
David Ramos/Getty Images
So, it’s January. The transfer window is open and the rumor-mongers are having a field day.
But hey, cut them some slack, will ya? Ever since the transfer window system was imposed by the powers that be, the tabloids only get around three months of the year to fill their pages up with player-transfer related gossip and innuendo.
This year so far however, the transfer market looks to be like the pitch at Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road ground—frozen, seemingly for eternity. Even so, there is the inevitable report about our beloved Cesc Fabregas "definitely" joining Barcelona before February. (Note to all you Gunner haters: NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!)
But, let’s face it, in a world where Carlos Tevez’s relationship with Man City executives is ‘damaged beyond repair’ one day and is perfectly fine the next, anything could happen.
Is Cesc one of the best playmakers in world football right now? Sure. Is he the X-factor that makes Arsenal perform at a higher level than they otherwise would? No doubt. But is he irreplaceable? Well, the jury’s out on that one.
Arsene Wenger surely has thought of this. Money, lack of passion, desire to win more trophies all could make Cesc leave the Gunners at a moment’s notice. If that does happen in this transfer window, well, no worries. Substitutes can and will be brought.
Wenger, as we all know, does not like to spend. He likes diamonds in the rough who he can mould to fit into his plans. But his transfer kitty is big today and Arsenal fans are desperate for a trophy after five years in the wilderness.
So all things considered, here are the top 10 replacements for Francesc Fàbregas Soler in case he decides to leave Arsenal. I’m trying my level best to think like Wenger and have attempted to make decisions the way he would. Here we go…
10) Charlie Adam
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images
Huh? Charlie who? This is who:
The ex-Rangers man was purchased by Blackpool for £ 500,000 in summer 2009 and has proved to be an amazing return on that investment after having scored 17 goals in the Championship last year and 4 in the Premier League this year.
Captain of Blackpool, 25 years of age, Adam is easily the best player in a team that has played some of the most exciting football in the League far and finds itself firmly in the middle of the table today when most pundits were predicting an instant return to the Championship.
He hasn’t played in Europe this season and will most likely come cheap.
9) Scott Parker
Scott Heavey/Getty Images
It truly amazes me how Scott Parker continues to toil around at West Ham when clearly his talent and work ethic deserve a much bigger club.
Parker has been outstanding this season, putting in man-of-the-match performances in almost every game he has played for this season for the Hammers.
Having played for Charlton, Chelsea and Newcastle before, his class was never in question, but injuries have prevented him from becoming the player he could have been.
A move to Arsenal would work out perfectly and would help Parker redeem himself in everyone’s eyes, including his own.
Parker also hasn’t played in Europe this season and will most likely also come cheap.
8) Tim Cahill
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images
The Australian, along with Steven Pienaar, is probably going to be the reason why Everton might stay up in the Premier League this season.
Cahill has been outstanding this season for the Toffees and has been a consistent performer and goal-scorer for club and country over the years.
He would be a natural fit at Arsenal and but at 31, would not perhaps not be able to serve them for years to come.
On the other hand, Cahill has not played for Europe this season and that could be a factor that tilts the scales in his favor
7) Maxi Rodriguez
Mark Thompson/Getty Images
There have not been a lot of silver linings in the cloud for Liverpool this season, but Maxi Rodriguez is one of them.
Ever since his Argentine compatriot Javier Mascherano moved on, Maxi has come into his own at Liverpool.
A few sublime goals, some great assists and a solid work ethic – this player has ‘Arsenal’ written all over him
6) Gareth Bale
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Is there a hotter mid-fielder in the Premier League right now? Gareth Bale is in scintillating form and is tearing up defences left, right and center this season.
In a Tottenham team that has shown great class this season (oh, as an Arsenal, how I hate writing this!) Bale has been head and shoulders above his teammates.
Explosive pace, solid predatory instincts and a dominating physical presence – what can one ask of a player at this age?
Added bonus – Imagine how pissed Tottenham fans would be if Bale decides to join the ‘Old Enemy’!
5) Michael Essien
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
The mercurial Ghanian is possibly the best playmaker in the Premier League right now after Fabregas.
Add in the work ethic, the experience and the dominating physical presence and you have quite possibly the perfect replacement for Fabregas from the Premier League.
Age, though, is not on Essien’s side and his injuries tend to lay him off for great lengths of time
Denis Doyle/Getty Images
Well, here’s a player that needs no introduction.
A lackluster 2010 World Cup notwithstanding, Kaka, though young, has been on the top of his game for years now. A gifted playmaker, his class, even after his current enforced break due to injury, will never be in doubt.
He has not played for Real Madrid all this season but the Galaticos seem to be doing just fine without him. The time is ripe for Arsenal to make their move and get a proven performer at a cut-price deal.
3) Wesley Sneijder
Claudio Villa/Getty Images
As the 2010 World Cup showed, the former Ajax and Real Madrid and current Inter Milan man is real class act. A great dead-ball specialist with inveterate Dutch flair, a more complete replacement for Fabregas can perhaps not be found.
Sneijder was great for Inter’s record braking season last year but the team’s period of turmoil under Rafa Benitez has taken a toll on the Dutchman’s rate of scoring goals. What better way to drive away goal-scoring blues than by joining a team like Arsenal that has the highest number in the ‘GS’ column this season in the Premier League?
2) Javier Mascherano
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images
Player swap, anyone? Mascherno’s departure has made Pool look like a pale shadow of themselves this season. Cesc for Javier + a defender that Arsenal badly need(Pique or Milito) might not be bad business at all.
The Argentine has proved his worth at the highest levels and Pool’s woes following his departure have perhaps made Roy Hodgson think that he should have tried harder to keep him at the Kop.
Diego Maradona may have made many outrageous statements during his tenure as Argentina’s coach, but he was right on the ball when he said this – “My team is Javier Mascherano and 10 others”
1) Xabi Alonso
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images
If Javier Mascherano’s departure hastened Liverpool’s decline, Alonso’s departure started it.
Alonso has been a fine exponent of the game for years now, and has been a stellar performer for every team he has played for – Real Socieadad, Liverpool, and these days, Real Madrid.
Consistently voted amongst the best players in the world, Alonso luckily finds himself away from tabloid pages and has very little written about his personal life. He has the gumption to handle big games and is capable of handling the slick passing game that Arsenal favor.
All in all, Arsene Wenger would do well if he replaced one departing Spaniard with this other one.