Cesc Fabregas or Thiago Alcantara? FC Barcelona Will Thrive Using Both
A few weeks ago the Thiago Alcántara or Cesc Fábregas debate was the hot topic for FC Barcelona fans. Some saw Cesc as a menace to Thiago's potential at Barça, while others debated if there was a true need to sign the Arsenal skipper away from Emirates Stadium.
With the argument raging and the transfer taking longer than expected, some even went as far as arguing Thiago was better than Cesc, which is evidently mad-talk (at least for now).
There was a feeling amongst Culés that Fábregas not only wasn't needed, but that he wasn't worth that kind of money to be a bench-warmer.
But then something interesting happened: Cesc signed for $29 million plus incentives. And people were glad. Some doubters still thought he was blocking Thiago's minutes. But for the most part, by just seeing him in a blaugrana shirt, fans instantly recognized him as one of their own.
The Thiago topic cooled down some more when Cesc played his first minutes against Madrid in the Supercopa second-leg. Seeing him lift the trophy and celebrating with Messi, Piqué and Puyol just seemed so natural.
By the time he scored his first goal (albeit an unofficial one) with Barcelona at the Joan Gamper, even more saw what was so difficult to see amongst the transfer drama: not only does he belong at the Camp Nou, his playing still fits right in too. It seemed like he had never left.
Who do you like best?
Then Fabregas topped that with his superb goal on a Messi assist in the UEFA Supercup three days before scoring his first la Liga strike on another of Lionel's passes against Villarreal.
Now, there's nobody saying Fábregas isn't needed. And to top it off, Thiago has seen his share of minutes as well, scoring a goal of his own against Villarreal. Thiago won't be pressured to perform immediately thanks to the Cesc signing, and like Iniesta and Xavi before him, he'll have the time to improve the mental aspects he has yet to mature while Cesc takes on a more commanding role at Barça this season.
It took four games to do it, but Barça fans finally realize what Pep Guardiola knew all along: this isn't an "either or" problem. Football sometimes defeats logic, and while most though Cesc would bring the end of Thiago (or vice-versa), Pep knew better.
Barcelona needed both Thiago and Cesc to get better. And they will be this season in large part thanks to that.
Whether it's on a 4-3-3, a 3-4-3 or a 1-7-2, there's always enough space for talented players at Barcelona. And last time I checked both Cesc and Thiago are immensely talented.
So, I'll ask you all again: Would you rather have Thiago or Cesc?
Me? I'll take both, thank you very much.
Pep Guardiola did too.
Follow Andrés Ehrli on Twitter! @ehrli
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