Arsenal announced on Sunday the long-rumoured departure of Cesc Fabregas to FC Barcelona. The transfer, thought to be £35m plus add ons, is subject to legal agreements and Fabregas passing a medical, but, for all purposes, he is finally gone.
Thus ends an era. For the last 5 years, Fabregas has been the main man at Arsenal; the replacement for Vieira, then the main man when Henry left and then finally the captain. He made over 300 appearances, scoring 57 times and assisting 100. Sadly, his last 3 years at Arsenal were marked by the amount of times he didn't play, and Arsenal were hurt by an over-reliance on a player who was injury prone. That being sad, Fabregas was a great player and professional, who always gave 100%, and is one of the best central midfielders in Arsenal's history. What Xavi, Pique, Puyol, Victor Valdes, Messi, Iniesta (the list goes on and on) did during this prolonged transfer saga should not cloud judgement of Cesc's time at Arsenal, because he acted with professionalism throughout.
Arsenal now must move on. Fabregas may not be directly replaced, but there ways of replacing Fabregas. Arsenal now have another £35 million to spend; whether and who Wenger spends it on will determine how much Arsenal miss Fabregas.