Arsenal Transfer Talk: The Fabregate Continues and a Signing That Would Mata

Toni Okike@@enigma106Senior Analyst IIJune 28, 2011

ARHUS, DENMARK - JUNE 25:  Juan Mata of Spain during the UEFA European Under-21 Championship Final match between Spain and Switzerland at the Arhus Stadium on June 25, 2011 in Arhus, Denmark.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images

The saga between Fabregas, Arsenal and Barcelona dates back to the days King Arthur ruled Camelot. If Arsenal’s captain is personified as a beautiful girl, Arsenal would be her father while Barcelona will be regarded the suitor that wants to get some. The suitor has tried several techniques to woo her to join him, but her father has kept him at bay times without number.

She then came out to say that she loves her father, but she wants to be with him because it has always been her dream. But she has concluded that she owes her life to her father, but she won’t go over the top to leave him.

Fabregas has tried to be calm throughout this ordeal surrounding his future at Arsenal. Wenger is resigned to losing his priced asset, but Barcelona has failed to meet Arsenal’s evaluation for the player. Barcelona insulted the club by offering a meager amount of £27m for one of the best central midfielders walking on this planet, but the media Vultures report that Barcelona have upped their bid to £31m.

It hurts really bad to know that Barcelona are willing to break bank to seal Alexis Sanchez and Neymar, but they’re treating Fabregas like dirt with their derogatory bids for Arsenal’s talisman. The board has confirmed that Barcelona has approach them formally, but their answer is the same with the type of answer you’ll get when you’re asked to do something you have no plans of doing: NO.

The board said,

“The offer was made formally in writing to our chief executive, and we said no straight away.”

But they made a comment that’ll definitely raise some eyebrows.

“Possibly. If it’s enough I expect we’ll have to sell.”

That comment has painted the picture vividly for Barcelona. If they want Fabregas, they must bring a value that Arsenal would find acceptable, and he’ll be free to warm their bench for all eternity. No more talk about him having their alien DNA or how he deserves to be in their team because he was born there.

Arsenal struggled initially after Thierry Henry’s departure, but Emmanuel Greedybayor emerged from the shadows to score the total amount of league goals Henry scored in the 2003/04 season. Greedybayor’s antics and summer shenanigans earned him a new deal at the club, but after he left, van Persie stepped into the spotlight for all the right reasons.

I love Francesc Fabregas Soler for everything he stands for, but Arsenal will still be Arsenal if Barcelona brings that bid that might make Wenger and the board to say goodbye to him. Losing a player like Fabregas will definitely put Wenger under extreme pressure to sign an ideal replacement for him, but there are not many players in the World that can offer what Fabregas has offered to Arsenal Football Club. Blood, sweat, sand, assists, goals, class, determination, teamwork, technique and 110 percent effort in every game.

It’s not every footballer in the world that would stay on the pitch with a broken leg. It’s not every footballer that would nurse a hamstring injury, get into the pitch, score two goals and get injured again in the space of 26 minutes.

My best footballer of all time is still Thierry Henry, but Fabregas has done enough to rise to the number two rank. For starters, we’re age mates, but he’s just a month and six days older. He’s the best passer of the ball currently playing in England. He’s also ranked in the same class with Riquelme, Xabi Alonso, Pirlo and Xavi because they all have the same passing attribute in Football Manager, which stands at 20/20. There’s no player in FM that has a rating of 21.

Fabregas is also among that special breed of footballers that interacts well with his fans. On Twitter, Arsenal’s captain has 1,020,764 followers and he has been generous enough to reply or retweet on some tweets from his fans. There are so many people I follow that write the exact date Fabregas tweeted at them on their Twitter bios. When Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was sworn in on the 29th of May, Fabregas wrote this on Twitter.

@cesc4official: Good luck to Goodluck Jonathan. Nigeria’s new president.

I must admit that I’m not looking forward to writing a post about Fabregas’ departure because it could leave a tear or two in my eyes. It’s also pleasing to know that Barcelona is a broke club at the moment, and I hope that they won’t reach Arsenal’s evaluation for Fabregas. Even if Shakira wants to do a tour to raise funds for her lucky boyfriend, Gerard Pique, and his club or Victor Valdes wants to be a matador for a bullfight, I’m still optimistic that Fabregas would be an Arsenal player for years to come.

In other transfer news involving possible arrivals, Arsenal has been linked with Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s versatile holding mohawk-wearing midfielder Arturo Vidal. The Chilean had a decent World Cup outing and was very impressive last season for the club that plays its home games in the Bay Arena that ended last season’s Bundesliga in second place.

They have also reported that Arsenal is set to bid for Newcastle’s Jose Enrique, as Clichy’s future still remains in doubt. I still prefer Leighton Baines to the chap, but if he’s Wenger’s top target in the left back position, I’m cool with it because Arsene knows best.

Moving over to the other part of my headline, there’s a signing that would really Mata for Arsenal. The media Vultures have reported that Juan Manuel Mata is Arsenal’s top transfer target, and his agent has hinted that his client will look at offers for his services. Mata hasn’t acted like Greedybayor to say that Arsenal is his Lady Gaga. He says,

"I know Arsenal is a big club, a very important club in England, always in the Champions League, but it’s up to any club to pay the required amount to Valencia."

Arsenal is valuing Mata at £18m, but the media Vultures say that Arsenal must pay at least £23m for the lad

Mata was born on the 28th April, 1988 born in Oviedo, Spain. He started his youth career in his home town club in Oviedo before joining Real Madrid in 2004, but he didn’t play any game for the Spanish giants. After a successful 2006/07 season with Real Madrid Castilla that saw him score 10 goals in 35 games, Valencia snapped him up on a free transfer.

Like Samir Nasri of France, Juan Mata has represented Spain in all junior levels before his promotion to the senior team on the 28th of March, 2009 against Turkey.

He has won three medals as a player, but they have all been in his national team colors. He won the European Under-19 Championships in 2006, the World Cup last summer and the recently concluded European Under-21 Championships that took place in Denmark.

As a player, Mata is an excellent dribbler and a lethal finisher. He also has a nice passing range, good off the ball movement and bags of pace. He’s also a good team player that’s flambouyant in nature.

He’s a versatile player that can play as a center forward, on the left wing or in the hole behind the main striker. Mata is a proven quality player, so his acquisition will make the fans drool to watch him in action. He’s acquisition could also make Fabregas stay at the club because there’ll be someone to crack Spanish jokes with.

That’s all for today, but I’ll leave you with a brief roundup of the stories about those involved with Arsenal.

Former shareholder Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith has disclosed that there was a feud between David Dein and Danny Friszman, Alex Song was fined over a handshake snub with Samuel Eto’o, an Arsenal fan put Denilson up for sale on eBay and Arsenal’s away kit has been unveiled.

The most emotional of them all was Wenger’s letter to the unhappy gooners.

Arsenal might get Valencia’s Juan Manuel Mata.

It’s just in a Mata of time.

This article was written by Toni Okike, a writer of an Arsenal blog called Gooner Daily

You can follow this blog on Twitter and you can visit the blog’s Facebook page.

Gooner Daily is among the nominees for the award of the Best Sports blog in the Nigerian Blog Awards, so I’ll be honored if you visit the site and vote for the blog.


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