Connect with us


Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas – Arsenal’s Difficult Decision

In what becomes the brand new transfer drama story of the week, Samir Nasri looks to go all in and leave the confines of Arsenal for Manchester United after “agreeing in principal to a five year, £90,000 a week gig.” It’s all a bit of flirting really; Nasri shows a little leg towards other teams, United need a midfielder that is a bit younger than they have. And secretly, this is all a lesson for Arsene Wenger about money, Cesc Fabregas and the new style of building a team.

The Premier League has been in an arms race situation for a while now, with top tier clubs being owned by conglomerates and very rich men who can spend freely on whomever they want. As everyone is quite aware, Wenger isn’t as into splashing the cash around and it’s getting to the point where that desire to run things on the cheap(er) side is going to effect the club long term.

Here’s the issue that keeps Arsenal fans up at night; Wenger needs to realistically look at the fact that every day Fabregas stays at Arsenal is another day that Barcelona’s players and Fabregas’ Spanish teammates beg, plead and push him to return to Camp Nou. Fabregas has even hinted around for a while that he wants to move. Nasri, a fine young midfielder is a guy who could thrive under an Arsenal team — without Fabregas. By not upping Nasri’s pay, there is a realistic chance that someone else will pay him what he wants, and if Barcelona decides to really go after Fabregas (which is rumored) this off season than Arsenal loses both guys and faces a landscape in which teams like Chelsea drop £50 on Fernando Torres on a whim.

While I’m just a normal human with no top-shelf managerial experience, there’s a plainly obvious life lesson going on here. Let’s say you’re seeing two women. One of them is very attractive, but gets a lot of attention from guys who have a lot of money, a great reputation and they’d love to start dating them. The other one is dependable, has long term future and only started going out and testing the market because you were too busy staring at the first one. What do you do in these situations?

Arsenal needs to take the hit and “break up” with Cesc before they get dumped. If you’re going to take a loss, try and maximize that loss by getting a lot of money back. No Arsenal fan wants to hear this, but Fabregas is out the door already, Nasri had an equal (if not better) season than Fabregas and if you’re going to lose out, you may as well make a little money off of it and commit to Nasri by upping his pay. It’s the difference between a “top four” team that knows how to do business and a lower tier team that watches as their best players go elsewhere.

200+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
  • Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
  • Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
  • Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
  • Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
  • Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
  • Price: $4.99/mo
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
  • Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
  • Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more


  1. nafrid

    December 11, 2011 at 9:13 pm


  2. Murph

    June 22, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    I think Nasri is the better option of the two at attacking mid position, pay him and crown the Prince. Cesc is a want away who can bring in the cash we need to splash. I just had a flash back to ‘Special One TV’ – when Arsen went mental and started twitching and shuddering. I just hope Arsenal don’t fall for the ame trap of $ for Cesc + Thigo — who will be in the same position of want away back to Barca in 5-7 years… We raid their academy, they give us ‘Manchurian Candidates’ – oh yes I did!!!! But supporting Barca in Spain, it’s a win win for me. Kinda…

  3. matt

    June 10, 2011 at 11:46 am

    even as an arsenal fan, i completely agree.

  4. Jason

    June 8, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    ESPND is reporting that according to Spanish radio Barcelona are in talks with Arsenal for Fabregas. Looks like Arsenal should have some money to spend if this deal goes through.

  5. John

    June 8, 2011 at 9:15 am

    According to Sky Sports Transfer Center a deal between Arsenal and Barcelona has been agreed in principle for the transfer of Fabregas. Since this transfer involves two clubs from different countries no formal transfers can occur before July 1. So it seems that Fabregas is on his way out of Arsenal. Wenger is a huge admirer of Gourcuff and may bring him in to replace Fabregas. Personally I don’t rate Gourcuff that highly, he is a decent player but not of the caliber of Fabregas, Nasri or Wilshere. Maybe Wenger may bring in someone else. What’s going to be interesting is the transfer fee for the Fabregas deal.

    • gargoyle22

      June 8, 2011 at 6:09 pm

      Arsenal has players who can play the same role as Fabregas. They have depth there. They need to sell him now and shore up their weaknesses in other areas that we’ve been talking about ad nauseum for years.

  6. Gillian

    June 7, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Fabregas should have been sold last summer. What did he do that was so great this past season? Nasri played very well for most of the season. I can’t imagine why anyone would throw him over for Fabregas, who so clearly doesn’t want to be there anymore.

  7. John

    June 7, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Fabregas wasn’t that good last season. He should be sold now while the club can get a decent fee for him.

    I would keep Nasri as he can play both in the middle ot midfield as well as in the wings. His versatility and technical quality will be hard to replace.

    With the money from the Fabregas sale Arsenal should buy decent defenders and another goalkeeper to give Sczechni (sp) competition. Shay Given would be a good buy. Even Robert Green might be a decent buy.

  8. pop

    June 7, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    yea that ture grl most people thing we bee just fine with out Fabregas but noooooo we need him

  9. gargoyle22

    June 7, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    As an Arsenal fan the team will do just fine without Fabregas. The guy they miss the most when the inevitable injury bug hits is Walcott.

    • selam

      June 7, 2011 at 7:22 pm

      no we really need fabregas he is our capiten and he is good as will
      we need him to give us power

  10. james

    June 7, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Just as Manchester United will never sell any player to Liverpool, Arsenal should never sell any player to Manchester United. If Nasri wants to leave then sell him to any club other than Man U, Chelsea, Man City, Spurs or Liverpool.

    It’s obvious Fabregas has had his eye on leaving for over a year so it’s time to cash in on him. If he stays and things don’t go well he’ll become a liability. Sometimes Arsenal are too reliant on Fabregas and his leaving will spread the burden out to other players which would be a good thing for the club.

    • Matt

      June 8, 2011 at 9:30 am

      I heard this same argument from Liverpool fans in January regarding a fellow Spaniard…

  11. Dave C

    June 7, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    I think it will be a massive blow if Arsenal lose Fab and Nasri. Sure, Wiltshire and Ramsey are promising, but can they carry Arsenal for a whole season? Who’s going to perform in the wider/advanced role that Nasri often does…Arshevin??

    Losing Nasri to Man Utd would be an especially stupid move – not only are they losing one of their best players, but they’re allowing him to go to their main rival? If you HAVE to sell a top player, at least sell him abroad.

    That’s why if I was Wenger, I would snap the hand off the first foreign club who offered me decent money for Fabregas if it meant I could keep Nasri.

    That said, does anyone think it’s a bit weird that Barca would spend big money on Fab? He seems to be increasingly injury prone, and I can’t see how he would get in Barca’s team anyway. Perhaps they would push Iniesta further forward into the front three in order to accomodate Fab, but even that would require sacrificing Pedro. Given that Barca are already head-and-shoulders above everyone else in Europe, they don’t really need such a drastic overhaul. So I’m not sure if they’d really want to spend that much money on an unnecessary signing.

    • El Tri 2014

      June 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm

      Barca are concentrating on Alexis Sanchez and it looks like that deal would be wrapped up relatively soon. Cesc is definitely the 2nd or 3rd player that Barca is considering as a priority. Cesc can be viewed as a sub or a replacement for Xavi which would extend his career. Of course, Xavi may be covering injury proned Cesc rather than the other way around. That said, it’s much warmer playing in Spain, so I doubt Cesc will be injured in Dec. and Jan. as he has been England.

      If Arsene wants to stick it to Barca, he should sell Cesc to Man Utd. (replacement for Scholes) and with the money sign up Nasri long term.

      • Dave C

        June 7, 2011 at 3:34 pm

        I wonder if Fabregas could play left back?

  12. Terry Q

    June 7, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    People need to stop mentioning selling Fabregas to Real Madrid. He will NOT play there. Realistically speaking, if he signed with RM, all his family would be forced out of Barcelona (all of whom are catalan). He could never set foot in his home again, and his family and friends would likely ostracise him. It’s not Spain he wants to return to. It’s Barcelona. And it’s not just his spain teammates that are encouraging him to return, it’s his parents as well, who showed up for the Camp Nou fixtures against Arsenal wearing the blaugrana despite their son playing on the other side.

    He wants to go to Barca. Just need to wait for the right deal. And preferably early enough in the tranfer window that the funds can be used to address other needs.

  13. El Tri 2014

    June 7, 2011 at 10:30 am

    1. Cesc is gone. The fans want him out, Cesc wants out, even Arsene is convinced he’ll leave and is only holding up for the big pay day (which he should). The first offer from Barca this summer is an insult ($28M). As soon as they hit the $35M, Arsene will be smiling.
    2. Who cares if Nasri stays or goes??? Aaron Ramsey is back and looks better and will continue to develop. Jack Wishere, remember him? Will be the perfect midfield tandem. Arsenal does not live or die on Nasri. For me, the players for the future for Arsenal are…
    Van Persie
    Chamuk (msp?)
    and which ever GK they poach (personally, I think the money they get from Barca or RM for Cesc will go into buying Shay Given from Mancini).

    • Todd Parker

      June 7, 2011 at 10:52 am

      $35 million is not a starting point for Cesc, $40 million and a player is. Arsene will not even remotely entertain a GK if that GK gets in the way of the young Polish Tandem’s development. Arsene does not spend a lot of money, he is choosey, and the last position he will splash cash on is GK, especially when Sczezny had a good debut season.

      • El Tri 2014

        June 7, 2011 at 12:28 pm

        Cesc was worth $40M in Jan. 2011 window when Barca was still in the hunt for La Liga championship and CL Championship. Those issues or situations have now been handled and considering Cesc’s fragility and that the summer won’t be as over-inflated as in Jan., you’re looking at $30-$35M for Cesc ($35+ is too much for Barca but I can see Inter or RM paying more). Shay Given is head and shoulders better than Sczezny, sorry, and a definite upgrade in an otherwise shaky Arsenal position.

        • Todd Parker

          June 7, 2011 at 1:02 pm

          A player is worth the money the club in ownership is willing to sell at, not the money a club without ownership is willing to buy at. That is why Cesc went no where in 2010. Cesc is going no where at $35 million, it has already been offered and refused. Quite right for Wenger to still build the club around his captain as Cesc reaches the prime of his career. If Cesc does not honor his contract and plays poorly to push a move it reflects poorly on Cesc. Wenger will do right by the club first then by Cesc, that is the right priority for any manager. Cesc cares about Arsenal more than the tabloids will say because saying that does not fuel transfer speculation and it does not sell newspapers. I am not saying Cesc wont leave, but Arsenal will keep him as long as the offers that come in low ball what he is really worth. If Andy Carrol goes for $35 million how does Cesc go for less? I mean seriously, if you are a Barca fan stop drinking your koolaid as that club uses players like Xavi to try and drive the price down in the PR marketplace. If you are Arsenal fan, look at the market for what it really is, surely Arsenal should not sell for less than $40 million and Wenger agrees since Cesc still looks at the Arsenal crest when he goes to work every morning. The last thing to say about Cesc is this–Real Madrid, Inter, Man City–none of them matter in this scenario. He will only leave for Barca…period. And it will only happen when Arsenal CHOOSE TO SELL. Not the other way around. That is why Arsenal own him, they choose, no one else. Wenger is stubborn when it comes to money, does anyone honestly think he will budge if the terms are not right? On to Shay Given–that he is better (which I agree with at this point in his career) is not the point. He is not the right fit for this Arsenal team. He would command more money than Wenger would ever pay and the problem is no longer GK, the problem is Center Half (ball winning, aerial cleaning, leadership improving, experience giving, injury free and battle tested enduring quality) and Defensive Central Midfield (ball winning, disciplined, leader, competition for places and depth when Song is at ACN, who wants to blow up plays and pass to the more talented of creative play makers). With Bendtner not staying and other squad questions you could also argue that a wide player in a 4-3-3 is necessary for depth to compete in all competitions or even a out and out striker who can provide reliability with or in service to RVP when he is injured or needs to get spelled. All of this points to the fact that we are not Man City, Man U, Chelsea, Real Madrid, or Barcelona. We cannot buy championships because we do not have that money and we choose to run a sustainable business unlike everyone else I just named who are spending above what they make and are in financial debt (with exception of Man City since they’re buyout just happened one year previous–they need more time to run their business into the toilet:)). Point–Arsenal are different because they get the business side of the operation, Wenger IS a businessman, contrary to another post in this forum, and Arsenal would be wise to “pick and choose” where to spend in the transfer window (which Wenger has confirmed he will do since “philosophy will not be changed”) and that means GK anyone to include Shay Given is surplus to requirement. I know we are just talking here like any other forum, but I am shocked at how many armchair managers there are (too include myself)–some times I think we all (too include myself) need to just trust the manager. He has after all brought more trophies to Arsenal than any manager in history and he did after all form the “Untouchables.” Sure, it has been 6 years, it is not perfect, the business of football has changed, but I for one think that if we keep Cesc and a couple key players and sign the ingredients above, WE WILL WIN A TROPHY AGAIN NEXT SEASON.

  14. FC Asheville

    June 7, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Arsenal will be a laughing stock if the lose Nasri over an additional 10-20k/week. It’s much easier to give a player a raise than buy a new unknown commodity! Wenger can’t be that stubborn!

    • jimmy b

      June 7, 2011 at 10:08 am

      wenger is not in business, doesnt know what he really want

      • jojo star

        June 7, 2011 at 3:25 pm

        i think it is amazing even having this discussion, reminds me of last summer arsenal needed a goal and the fulham guy wanted to come but wenger bid 2m then 3m instead of the 4m needed to do the deal. so we got stuck with almunia – just the two games against west brom costs us 5 points. and dont start with the two useless french defenders he bought to replace aging cambell and silvestre who left. wenger has to go befoe all of the good players leave in disgusts.

    • claire

      June 7, 2011 at 11:47 am

      I think it’s more than giving someone a rise really. There is always a wage structure inside a team. If you give Nasri the rise, maybe some other players on his pay level will demand a rise as well.. Barca had a similar situation with Dani Alves recently, who demanded a higher pay check, but the club was reluctant to break the wage structure. Personally I think a real good club (top tier club) shouldn’t be breaking the wage structure for anyone.

      • Dave C

        June 7, 2011 at 12:37 pm

        True (to a certain extent) about the pay structure issue – perhaps if Nasri asks for more, everyone else in the squad will get the same idea.

        But I would be interested if anyone has full details of wages on offer at Arsenal. Is Nasri asking to be the highest paid player in the squad? Or is he just asking for parity with Fabregas/RVP (who I assume are the biggest earners)?

        If it’s the former,then perhaps Arsenal are right to stick to their guns and either show the guy the door, or hold him to his current contract (albeit one he will fulfill begrudgingly before leaving on a free transfer).

        But if it’s the latter, it seems a fairly reasonable request, and not one that will necessarily spark unrest amongst the other players. If he’s one of Arsenals key men (and arguably THE key man, given Fab/RvP are permanently injured), maybe he should be paid appropriately.

  15. seyi

    June 7, 2011 at 8:24 am

    I won’t blame those guys if they insisted that they are going,look likes of anderson[man u]he already has a champions league glory,3 premier league tites,which player dream of playing football without any glory,this boys they have tryed their best I can’t blame them it is coach that is to be blame with is stupid mentality,u make profit u don’t won’t to spend where is that done rather tha spending u go for a cheap price and u expect them to win any silver wear the only solution to dis is for him to spend big or he should resign without that arsenal can not win any silver wear I bet it.wenger is a good coach nobody is disputing that but he need to chenge is stupid and unambitious mentality.look at berca for example no player in the world that will not be happy to play in that taem.

  16. Robert Hay

    June 7, 2011 at 8:15 am

    You’ve nailed it Joseph. Thank you Cesc for everything you’ve done, but it’s not you, it’s us Arsenal fans. We need a playmaker in midfield, but we have that in Sammi Nasri. While he may not be as technically skilled as Cesc, and Cesc can do things Nasri can’t do, Cesc can be replaced.

    I believe Arsenal should keep Nasri and use the Cesc money to acquire a captain, someone who will be the leader we all hoped Cesc would be, and wasn’t.

    • Todd Parker

      June 7, 2011 at 9:21 am

      “Nailed it”? I don’t know why I am starting with your quote, I should be starting with the author’s quote since it is the most naive Arsenal analysis I have ever heard: “No Arsenal fan wants to hear this, but Fabregas is out the door already, Nasri had an equal (if not better) season than Fabregas and if you’re going to lose out, you may as well make a little money off of it and commit to Nasri by upping his pay. It’s the difference between a “top four” team that knows how to do business and a lower tier team that watches as their best players go elsewhere.” Really? Difference between top 4 and lower tier? Really? Have Arsenal ever really been out of the top 4 in the Wenger era. I know this business is “what have you done for me lately” and I know that no trophies in 6 years erases the memory of the “untouchables” (for most with regret), but come on, let us not get carried away. Wenger is right to try and hang on to both of them to build a team around both of them. They could be our Xavi and Iniesta and they should be our Xavi and Iniesta. Cesc will leave, but not until he fulfills the duties of his contract of which is still long term at this point. If we sell him before it will be on our terms, not their’s and Wenger would be right to keep him and Nasri and let them go after we win trophies again which will happen if he simply makes wise decisions in the squad and in the transfer market around Cesc, Nasri, and RVP whom are all world-class. Do not dismiss that these boys, specifically Cesc, has built a relationship with Wenger and the Arsenal staff. Those relationships are what build the foundation needed to weather any storm, do not discount them.

      • Robert Hay

        June 7, 2011 at 1:41 pm

        Todd –

        Up until about half way through this season I would have agreed with you. But as the season progressed, it looked more and more like this team needed a change. In terms of personnel, I don’t think they need a huge spree: definitely a world class central defender, a good holding midfielder, and a second choice striker (if Bendtner truly wants out). What they lack most, however, is leadership and, for lack of a better term, a guy who will kick some a** as a captain. That’s not Cesc; maybe it’s TV10; maybe they need to get someone. Nasri also looks more comfortable in the middle where he has space to create his shot.

        I’m not saying we should blow the team up, and I am not as negative as others, but there does need to be some change in this team this summer.

        • Todd Parker

          June 7, 2011 at 3:33 pm

          yeah Robert, it seems we agree on the finer points. A huge spend spree is not needed but for a world class center half and a world class defensive central midfielder with possibly a quality guy as a forward we need and Wenger knows this-I expect him to open up the pocket book, whether he signs who the fans think he should is another thing entirely. On Cesc-I think when a team underachieves the first person people point too is the manager and when the manager has the dressing room, as Wenger does, the players point to themselves. Given that is the case, whether it is TV10 or a blogger, I think everyone points to Cesc as captain and that is part and parcel for the job. May be unfair, but that is what happens. Throw in his eventual interest in Barcelona, well you have vipers in the media and blogosphere that are chomping at the bit to make money off of speculation. Fact still remains, he is only leaving on Arsenal’s terms since Arsenal own him and people forget that too often. I think he is probably a better captain than people give him credit for, but when you do not win trophies at that level you carry the brunt of things. I also think that his injury issues kept him from being Cesc, the Cesc we know and love. Go Arsenal!

  17. Huw David

    June 7, 2011 at 8:08 am

    I hate cheltenham they are so bad

  18. Patrick Foday

    June 7, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Sanger and the board are just being selfish.We the fans spend our little money and all we need are trophies.Sanger make the money for the share holders and they are satisfied and do not care about other peoples feelings.Honestly if u want my serious opinion on this,would say i wish we can just have a coach with a winning mentality,that could bring us footballing weapons to get us at least a cup every season.Fabrigas is a serious guy and wants to play for a serious manager.Nasri plays well, so I don’t think he is asking for too much.After all for all these years we have gone without trophies ,we have always being making profit.What have we been doing with it,is a million pound guestion for us all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in General

Translate »