Barca focusing on the wrong Gunner

The Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona transfer saga has been dragged out for the best part of a year now and recent reports by the Catalan giants’ director of football, Raul Sanllehi, suggests the Spanish champions could call it quits on bringing Cesc back to the Camp Nou.

Even if the Arsenal skipper was to join the Blaugrana, it is unclear where he would fit in. Fabregas is believed to be a replacement for midfielder Xavi. However, the 31-year-old shows no signs that his career is reaching its climax.

So are we to expect that Barca are willing to spend at least £50million on Fabregas, arguably the best player in the Premier League, to have him warming the bench and playing second fiddle to Xavi and Iniesta?

If Mr. Sanllehi’s claims are true then Barcelona’s decision to end their pursuit of Fabregas for the time being is a wise one. It is time the greatest team in history should be directing their attention to another Gunner who has proven throughout this season that he is worthy of sporting the famous red and blue stripes of the Spanish champions as his captain is.

I am talking, of course, about Jack Wilshere.

The 19-year-old put in a fantastic shift last night against Barcelona when the two sides met in the second round of the Champions League.

The youngster looked comfortable on the ball and showed no fear in running straight at the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique and Eric Abidal. He drove at them with pace, lifting his head to assess his options, picked out the correct pass before coolly and perfectly delivering it.

Arsenal looked all the more dangerous with the England international in possession, when attacking without the number 19 their attacks were rather slow, allowing the visitors to regroup and deal with the trouble. But when Wilshere gathered the ball in his own half and went up through the gears he kept the mint coloured defenders on their toes and gave his teammates time to move into space.

Wilshere is a readymade Barcelona player. He is great going forward and would slot in alongside the likes of Xavi and Iniesta perfectly. It could be argued that replacing the defensive Sergio Busquets with a more attack minded midfielder like Jack Wilshere would remove the balance from the midfield as Busquets has a tendency to sit back, allowing Xavi and Iniesta to get forward and provide more attacking options.

However, the Arsenal starlet has shown he is more than capable of putting in a defensive shift; he is quick to get back into position when his team is not in possession and is great at breaking down his opponents’ attacks, even if his opponents are Xavi and Iniesta.

In the future Barcelona will look for a replacement for Xavi and Iniesta. The two World Cup winners are great going forward for Barcelona but in a few years their legs will get tired. When that time comes, Pep Guardiola (if he is still in charge) will be able to push Wilshere forward whilst Xavi and Iniesta pull the strings from a deeper role until they take their final bow and hang up their boots.

Pete McVitie


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