Hold up. Before I get an earful about Barton's criminal record, or his off-pitch attitude, just hear me out.
For those who haven't heard of the Internet, Newcastle have recently expressed that they are allowing Joey Barton to leave the club on a free transfer, gaining the attention of quite a few clubs, including Arsenal, as reported by Goal.com.
In my opinion, signing Joey Barton would pretty much be perfect for Arsenal. First of all, he's free, so there's really no price negotiating involved—an upside for a penny-pincher like Arsene Wenger. But the reason why signing Barton would be a good move has nothing to do with money at all, it has to do with what Barton would bring to the squad.
Now, if you watched the Emirates Cup, you probably noticed that Arsenal were massively reluctant to shoot, even when the player with the ball (cough cough, van Persie) was completely through on goal.
But Joey Barton is definitely a player who's not afraid to take a shot from outside of the 18-yard box, and a majority of the time he'll hit the target or even score. This quality would give a lot more depth to Arsenal's play, as right now the Gunners often try to walk the ball into the net.
Joey Barton also has an exceptional vision of the game, something that he's usually not given credit for. He's an excellent crosser, with some of his flighted passes being jaw-droppingly accurate. Arsenal currently lack a player that can consistently send in well-aimed crosses; signing Joey Barton would increase the quality of Arsenal's wing play by a lot.
Another vital element that Joey Barton would bring to the Arsenal squad is physicality. This was something that Arsenal clearly lacked in the midfield this season, and a rough, experienced English player like Barton is very much needed among Arsenal's ranks. He can instill a tougher mentality into the squad that will ultimately translate into winning trophies.
All of these qualities add together to make a player who proves to be a solid replacement for Cesc Fabregas. He may not seem as exciting as other options out there, like say Eden Hazard or Thiago Alacantara, but his raw toughness and playmaking skills would make him an ideal replacement for the Arsenal captain.