Arsenal Question To Fans: Would You Take Back Someone Who Left Us?
Jens Lehmann did it, Sol Campbell did it twice and some fans are still hoping Thierry Henry will do it. Could we openly accept a player who's left us for greener pastures?
Campbell didn't seem to bother anyone and did well enough in his brief reappearance. Lehmann was greeted with anticipation moreso because Manuel Almunia is rubbish.
Though Almunia looks to have had the last laugh as Lehmann struggled to dust off the rust after conceding two in his reserves comeback.
They didn't leave the club on bad terms, and it was more to do with their age and not being part of Wenger's grand scheme of things anymore. As well as filling in some big blanks in our team sheet due to injury.
Jeremie Aliadiere is still training with the club, though at 28, fans would wonder if he could make a difference at all.
So which of the ex-Gunners are still knocking about and could provide us some cheap cover?
In the Premier League, Ashley Cole is hardly going to return with his bi-annual torrent of boos and jeers from the Arsenal faithful. Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor both burned some big bridges after believing Man City was the place to be for silverware.
While Patrick Vieira is hardly the player he was, Wenger wouldn't be that desperate to re-sign his former captain.
Who would you prefer to resign?
Jose Antonio Reyes anybody? He's doing fairly well at Athletico Madrid and was a pretty big flop at the time, though it may also be down to his overly excessive transfer fee and that he never developed the way everyone believed he should've.
He may not have been prolific in front of goal, but he had a decent return for a winger. Though at times his finishing wasn't great, I remember him pulling in the assists. Alexander Hleb is in a similar situation though the traitor can add Carling Cup glory to his name.
Mathieu Flamini left under worse terms and more importantly for nothing as he went to pursue a career in Italy. Even as Clarence Seedorf and Andrea Pirlo are in the latter half of their 30s and Gennaro Gattuso not getting younger, he has found mixed success but has been unable to really break into the first team.
Though we could do with his hard tackling and good engine, he'd once again return to the bench under a full strength midfield.
Another interesting prospect is the return of Thierry Henry. He'd bring in all the experience and leadership we've been craving for, though he'll not be as good as he once was.
Either way, a great role model for the younger players, a great alternative to Robin van Persie, and if you ever wanted a shooting coach, there's no one better. He wouldn't break the bank and has admitted he would love to return to the club.
Now to a bigger point, if Cesc Fabregas did leave for Barcelona, and he failed to break into the squad, would we accept him back?
Now Cesc is certainly talented and one of the best centre midfielders around, but if he did leave for Barcelona, he'd have competition in two better players.
Xavi may be getting old, but he's not looking like he'll give up his place, and Barca fans are looking more at the prospect of him joining rather than how he would figure in the team. But in a bid to prevent any Barca fans from going crazy, let's just imagine a situation where he didn't do well.
Anyway, if he didn't make the impact he wanted and wanted to return, would we say no? It's unlikely he'd return to another club in the Premier League, and Serie A isn't as exciting as it used to be.
He's our captain and when we play with him, we're a much better team and the chemistry and passing is at its highest. We'd certainly have the funds to resign him a year on.
Plus it'd be sweet to use Barca's own ideology in that we wouldn't pay more for a player with a year less on his contract.
The fans would be quick to boo, but he'd let his feet do the talking, providing Aaron Ramsey or another youngster who made Cesc's spot their own. I personally wouldn't mind having him back, he'd wear his humiliation and get over it.
He wouldn't be any younger, and with the Barca dream over, he'd be completely loyal to Arsenal and save us and the tabloids from reading about how he's going to leave.
I'm not saying we should sell him, even if they did match our evaluation, unless Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique or David Villa were involved. All I'm saying is that if we did, I wouldn't close the door on him.
He's still miles ahead of any other midfielder we have at the moment, if Arsene Wenger did choose to let him go, it wouldn't be the end of the world.
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