Chelsea have dealt a fresh blow to Arsenal as the news is out that Valencia have agreed to Chelsea's reported £26 million bid for winger Juan Mata; the deal will be completed in the next few days.
Mata was high on Arsene Wenger's wish list and it's believed Valencia even turned down Arsenal's preliminary bid.
However, the Gunners dithered away and allowed Chelsea to step in and steal a march on the North London giants.
There aren't too many world-class players available on the transfer market but Mata was one of them.
If Arsenal were keen on replacing Fabregas with another top-notch player, Wenger shouldn't have looked any further than Mata.
Yet again the unwillingness to spend money has backfired, thus allowing a big fish to slip through the net. Considering the plight of the club, this is a massive miss.
With better planning and swift action such a scenario could've been avoided. But no, this is Arsenal and they do it the hard way.
At this moment in time it looks as though Arsenal have no way back unless Wenger splashes the cash before the transfer window closes.
The problem however is teams are aware that Arsenal are a club in crisis. When Arsenal approach for players, teams will demand a significantly higher fee knowing that Arsenal have no other way but to pay the asking price with so little time left in the transfer window.
The Arsenal board can't be fully held responsible because the manager in charge is really a man who has never spent beyond £15 million for any single player, and he has his own vision and philosophy that doesn't allow anyone to interfere in his space.
This man's stubbornness has cost the club dearly in recent seasons. Arsenal needed a major surgery to the squad after years of inactivity in the summer market.
Despite the gaping holes in the squad the manager has remained coy so far this summer. He has lost the plot both on and off the field, and the bookies are already predicting the sack for Wenger before Christmas, which wouldn't be a bad thing for the club if the status quo continues.
If the beleaguered Frenchman has any ounce of sanity left he will spend money now.
We will just have to wait and watch as to what Wenger will do in the next 10 days and should save the final judgement for September 1.
Anyway, the Premier League is richer with the addition of another wonderfully talented Spanish player.
Arsenal and its insane manager squandered the chance to acquire Mata in their colours but the fans of beautiful football will enjoy the play of this young wing wizard in the blue of Chelsea. For them it is Fabregas out, Mata in.
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