It’s Time to Come Home, Cesc

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    Updated: April 18, 2014
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    Arsenal FC has lost some pretty special players during this nine-year trophy drought for the club. We lost countless captains in Patrick Viera, Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas, men who are legends and irreplaceable.

    And although it hurt to see all of them go, they all had their reasons to move on. But the one that can actually come back and maybe should come back is our Spanish legend Cesc Fabregas.

    I have watched a good amount of Barcelona games since Cesc went back to his actual home in Catalonia, and I have never been bitter about him leaving.

    Cesc wanted to go home, to play for arguably the greatest club side the world had ever seen.

    He wanted to play with fellow countrymen Andreas Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez who were already legends. And Cesc wanted the opportunity to play with the Argentine maestro himself, Lionel Messi. No one can blame him for wanting that opportunity at that point in his career.

    Arsenal were stuck in an awful malaise of finishing 4th every year and losing players while not fighting for titles.

    Meanwhile Cesc would go on international duty with Spain and see his compatriots talking about trophies they had won domestically and all throughout Europe.  Cesc wanted bigger and better things and the man he considers a second father, Arsene Wenger, finally relented and let the prodigal son go. 

    Cesc has gone on to win trophies at the club and international level, and it seemed like going home was the right decision. But from watching Barcelona games the last year or so, it seems like the fans in Catalonia have yet to take to Cesc as one of their own.

    There have been matches I’ve seen him whistled while he was on the pitch and substituted by Pep Guardiola, Tito Vilanova and Gerardo Martino for what the coaches deemed poor performances.

    It’s not as if Cesc’s productions has been sub par. In 306 appearances as a Gooner, Cesc Fabregas had 57 goals and 98 assists. In just 146 appearances with Barcelona he has 42 goals and 47 assists.

    He’s been in double digits in goals and assists each year since his dream move back home to Catalonia. But he won’t have the impact on this Barca side that he could potentially have in an Arsenal homecoming. 

    At Barca, Cesc is surrounded by legends that have conquered everything there is to conquer.

    He could simply add his name to the list of recent big name players at Barca but he is still down in the pecking order behind Xavi and Iniesta.

    Eventually Xavi will retire and then Cesc will obviously replace him, but it’s impossible to fully replace Xavi on the pitch and in the hearts of fellow Catalans.

    Cesc left far too early I think to be fully embraced by the Barca fans so soon, and although he is one of theirs, I am not quite sure how the good people of Catalonia view him in terms of being a Barca player.

    Players like Messi and Xavi and Iniesta started at La Masia then graduated to Barca B, then to the first team. Cesc came to Arsenal at 16 so he was a Gooner from a very young age.

    But Cesc wasn’t the first player to leave Barca for an English club then return home. 

    Gerrard Pique also left Spain for Manchester United and eventually came home, but Pique is not in the same class of player that Cesc is or was when they were both in England.

    He became World Class player Cesc Fabregas as a Gooner, and this club is his home.

    Imagine the things he could help accomplish at Arsenal if he were to return.

    He would be surrounded by a world-class midfield with Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere. He would be playing in a city he became a man in.

    He would be in front of fans that would never boo nor whistle him. And he would be back under the tutelage of the man who developed his game to what it is now in Arsene Wenger.

    Truth be told, Arsenal need Cesc more than Cesc needs Arsenal. To be even more frank, Cesc doesn’t need Arsenal at all.

    But that shouldn’t ever stop Arsenal and Cesc from reuniting. There is still a lot of unfinished business left at Arsenal for Fabregas. For starters, he left with winning only one league title, and his last trophy with the Gooners was the 2005 FA Cup, coincidentally Arsenal’s last trophy as well. 

    Having Cesc would be a major boost to Arsenal’s plan of being back in contention for an EPL title.

    One trophy that has eluded Arsene Wenger’s during his illustrious career is the UEFA Champions League trophy. Cesc was part of the CL Final in 2006 that Arsenal lost to Cesc’s hometown Barcelona.

    That game may have been completely different had it been 11 v 11, but unfortunately we will never know. And on top of the trophies, Cesc needs to come back and help Wenger do the unthinkable for a second time, orchestrate another “Invincibles” team in the Premier League.

    With the right players and right mentality the Gooners can pull off such a feat, and I believe Cesc would be integral in Arsenal doing it.

    I’m aware that this entire piece was the ravings of a mad man Arsenal supporter that is delusional to think Cesc would ever leave Barcelona to come back to Arsenal.

    But other Gooners have come back like Sol Campbell and current squad member Mathieu Flamini. Nothing in football is impossible. And what we’ve learned over the years is that sometimes our Arsenal legends come home, and still make an impact on the league, and in our hearts as if they never left:

     

    Come home Cesc, you have unfinished business left. And we will have a statue with your name on it after your second go around at the Emirates. Of that my Spanish friend, I am certain. 

    Follow @LSN_Frantz on Twitter  

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