Cesc Fabregas prays for a return to the Camp Nou
Rather than list the summer transfer rumors, which you can easily obtain from other sources, I thought it worthwhile to discuss the feasibility of the transfers being discussed.
To do this, I selected the three hottest rumors right now. Let's take them one at a time:
Fresh off of Santos' Copa Libertadores win against Penyarol, Neymar's stock has never been higher. Both Real Madrid and Chelsea have apparently offered around € 35M but Santos is holding out for the full value of his release clause of €45 million. How would Neymar fit in at Real Madrid and would is a move to La Liga appropriate at this stage in his career?
Tim Vickery of the BBC has stated on several occasions that players that move from Brazil straight to the EL often struggle. The reason he gives is that in Brazil, the play is less physical and the players have more time on the ball. The EPL is a much more physical game and the defenders are on you instantly.
This doesn't give players time to play around too much. In fact, someone like Ganso, who can distribute quickly would probably do well in the EPL. At any rate, South American players are often better off going to Spain, Portugal, or Italy first before attempting a move to the EPL. The play is less physical and language isn't as much of a barrier. If Neymar does end up at Real, I think he's in the right league.
More concerning is, where do they play him? They already have Benzema as the primary striker with Adebayor as the backup. Ronaldo is a winger, so I don't think you want him playing up top though he is certainly capable. Unless Real decide to get rid of Benzema, Adebayor or both, Neymar is going to be on the bench. €45 million is an awful lot of money for a guy to ride the pine. Then again, Real isn't a moneyball club.
Should Barcelona pursue Cesc Fabregas?
The Alexis Sanchez story is much the same. He'll probably end up at Barcelona but to what avail? I'm a huge supporter of the guy, but I don't know where he fits in. Unless they plan on letting David Villa go, or benching Pedro, who are they going to put on the bench? As with Neymar, it's an awful lot of money to spend on a bench option.
Which leads us to the never-ending saga that is Cesc Fabregas...
Cesc Fabregas was bred at Barcelona and badly wants to return. The club seem to want him back assuming they don't have to break the bank. Arsenal is holding out for a stupendous offer, and rightly so. They know what they have. He's one of the best midfielders in the world and he's only 24.
Could he be a successor to Xavi (31) or Iniesta (27)? He's not going to start over either of those players unless they change their famed formation of 4-1-2-1-2. Javier Mascherano currently fills this role and he's already on the bench. Pep loves Busquets (whose sort of a Pep clone) so he's not coming off. What then becomes of Cesc if in fact they get a deal done?
All 3 of these players are world class. I think Neymar will be successful at Real, and I think Sanchez and Cesc would add serious quality and depth to Barcelona. But with Barcelona in dire straits financially, you wonder if it makes sense to splash so much cash on a team that is already the best in the world.
As an avid Barcelona supporter I would love to see both Alexis Sanchez and Fabregas at the Camp Nou. I just wonder whether we can afford it and how much incremental quality they can add to the club.