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Brewin: Sanchez punishes Sunderland

Arsenal about an hour ago
Read
Jul 31, 2011

ESPN pundits differ over duo

Kevin Keegan and Robbie Savage have told ESPNsoccernet of their conflicting views on how Arsenal would cope should Cesc Fabregas leave the Premier League club.

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Fabregas has emerged as a mainstay in Arsene Wenger's side since joining from Barcelona in 2003, to date making over 300 appearances for the Gunners in all competitions.

But since the end of the 2009-10 season the Spaniard has been strongly linked with a return to his former team. Arsenal were unwilling to sell last summer, but appear more open to a sale this year, although only if Barca match their £40 million asking price.

Fabregas was present for 25 of Arsenal's league outing last campaign and recorded an impressive total of 14 assists, reiterating his importance to Wenger's side.

Keegan said: "He's so influential that if he leaves then Arsenal are in trouble. Losing Fabregas sends out a message, for me, that Arsenal are no longer able to hold onto the big, big players. He's still young, he's the captain of the club. He's the jewel in the crown. If I was a manager in the Premier League and I could buy one player I would buy Cesc Fabregas.

"I am sure if Cesc wasn't in any fear of any backlash he would confirm Barcelona is where he wants to go. This is all about money now. It's about whether they are willing to pay what he is worth, because he is worth an awful lot more than the figures that have been mentioned."

However, ex-Wales international Savage believes losing Samir Nasri, another Arsenal player linked with an exit, would be far great a blow to the Gunners as they look land their first piece of silverware since 2005.

Savage said: "I think Nasri would be a bigger loss than Fabregas. Nasri has the X-Factor. [Jack] Wilshere could do what Fabregas does, but not many people can do what Nasri does.

''The worrying thing from Arsene's point of view is that his two best players, Nasri and Fabregas, both appear to want to go. That's far from a happy camp. But the biggest loss for Arsenal would be to lose Wenger."

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