Arsene Wenger admitted it was ‘strange’ seeing his former boy wonder Cesc Fabregas don the royal blue of sworn nemeses Chelsea to tear Burnley apart on Monday night.
But the Frenchman was quick to follow that up by denying that he regrets not re-signing his former skipper earlier in the summer.
As part of the deal that took him to Barcelona, Arsenal had first option to buy Fabregas back for £27m, but opted against doing so, clearing a path for the Spanish puppet-master to move to Stamford Bridge.
The scintillating start Cesc savoured on his Blues debut would’ve broken many a Gooner heart, but Wenger is correct not to rue missing out on his former protégé; the north Londoners are better without him.
Ridiculous you say? Well feast your eyes on the rationale:
The irresistible rise of Aaron Ramsey would have soon run aground had Fabregas returned.
There’s no conceivable way the Welshman and his Catalan counterpart could’ve played alongside one another in a midfield twosome given their shared inclination to attack.
To pair them an anchor would be essential, but that would leave no place for record-signing and incumbent playmaking force Mesut Ozil, which isn’t an option either.
Had Fabregas been re-recruited, it’s highly likely Alexis Sanchez wouldn’t have.
He may have started at a steady pace, but the Chilean wide man will soon rediscover the scoring touch that brought him 19 goals at Barcelona last season.
This bulky haul was supplemented by ten assists, meaning he was directly involved with 29 of his team’s league strikes, a contribution that couldn’t be expected from Fabregas.
Arsenal can’t afford to be spending almost £30m on a creative central-midfielder when they need to reinforce their destroying department.
If offered Fabregas or William Carvalho, the individual of sound mind would typically plump for the former.
But the Portuguese is the exact brand of footballer the Gunners require and they would be better off playing the non-conformist card here.
They can’t afford to squander an exorbitant amount of money strengthening the one area where they’re strongest when they’re desperate to add quality to others.