Once upon a time, to even suggest this move would have been unthinkable – blasphemous even. Just three years after concluding a protracted saga to repatriate Cesc Fàbregas from Arsenal, FC Barcelona discarded the La Masia graduate on Thursday, granting the Catalan midfielder a move back to the English Premier League, to London and to Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea. While the fee has not been officially disclosed by either club, it is believed to be in the region of €38 million; representing a rare transfer profit for the Blaugrana.
Irrespective, it was a brave decision from the club, and we still don’t know who ultimately made the decision: was it the oft-criticised Andoni Zubizarreta? Was Luis Enrique stamping his authority on the team? Heck, did Fàbregas instigate the move? We just don’t know, but what’s done is done; now, all we can do is look back, not on Fàbregas’ time at the club, but at the transfer and ask:
Did FC Barcelona get a good deal?
Let’s forget about the impending signing of Ivan Rakitić and take this move in isolation – at €38 million, does Fàbregas represent good value for Chelsea? Certainly, Chelsea fans have their doubts about the signing.
Stephen Schmidt, one of SB Nation’s resident Chelsea experts over at We Ain’t Got No History, argues that Fàbregas will face similar problems to those he faced in Catalunya; even at Chelsea, he still seems like a square peg for a round hole. At present, there isn’t necessarily a tailor-made role for Fàbregas in West London, so, to get the best of this transfer, Mourinho will have to adjust.
For the better? For the worse? Only time will tell – but in spite of this as yet unsolved tactical dilemma, Stephen was confident that Fàbregas will establish himself as a starter, and that the deal doesn’t represent good value for Barcelona.
Truthfully, it’s hard to disagree. Just look at the current state of the market: David Luiz is worth €62 million and Juan Mata commanded a €46 million fee; surely a player of Fàbregas’ talents should be worth a similar amount?
What do you think Culés, did FC Barcelona get a good deal?