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Another transfer window slams shut with the weaknesses in Arsenal’s squad seemingly apparent to all except Arsène Wenger. So just what IS the Frenchman thinking, asks Mark Halfpenny

There are two sides to every story and the Cesc Fabregas transfer saga is no exception. Firstly there is the positive side: our captain (and best player) is staying, for the time being anyway, and that's great news as we would be so much weaker without him. It's also very satisfying that, for once, one of the two major Spanish clubs was told to get stuffed – in the nicest possible way of course.

Also on the positive side is a player being made to honour the highly lucrative contract he willingly signed a few years before. This was surely a victory for the supporters that invest so much time and money in their clubs.

Or was it? Only time will tell on that score and that's where the other, negative, side of the story comes in. Even though Cesc is staying, I have grave concerns about the whole situation as we can't ignore the fact that he wanted to leave. I believe there are two main reasons for Cesc wanting out: the desire to return home and, more damningly, that he has run out of patience with a club that keeps promising the earth but then fails to deliver. His statement in August made this plain: “I cannot deny that joining a club like Barcelona was not an attractive move for me. This was the club where I learnt my football, it is my home town where my friends and family are and a club where I have always dreamed of playing”.

IN ARSÈNE WE RUST?

Another transfer window slams shut with the weaknesses in Arsenal’s squad seemingly apparent to all except Arsène Wenger. So just what IS the Frenchman thinking, asks Mark

Halfpenny

Barca are not everyone's cup of tea (in fact I think they're a pain in the arse) but no-one can deny that they are the best in the world at winning major trophies while playing entertaining football. And that is what makes the last seven words of Cesc's statement so worrying - “where I have always dreamed of playing”. Those words make it quite plain that we will be going through the whole sorry saga again in either January or more likely, next summer. In fact, everything that Cesc has said since he broke his silence indicates a man that is staying because he has to, not because he wants to.

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