I didn't really believe Barcelona were going to sell him as I thought he was the long term successor to Xavi. It appears the new Barcelona manager must not rate him though as he was allowed to leave and they even look to have made a loss on the price they paid to Arsenal three years ago. There is no doubt in my mind that Chelsea have signed an excellent player and he will make them a better team.
Cesc did confirm that Arsenal had the first option on him and chose not to take up that option. It can only be presumed Arsene Wenger felt he already had players such as Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere to choose from and Cesc's talents were not needed. If the club are to buy the players they need in the positions they are lacking in at the moment then the fee for Cesc might have been needed elsewhere.
It's hard to imagine Cesc playing for another English club next season but that's exactly what we're going to see. He once said he would only ever play for one English club and it would be Arsenal, but by the time he wanted to come back the club no longer required his services. As one fan put it on Twitter It's like your girlfriend leaving you for a better looking guy and then wanting to get back together when he dumps her three years later. To make matters worse she then hitches up with the rich old man down the road when you rebuff her advances.
Maybe Chelsea were the only club in for Cesc when Arsenal didn't take up the option, but I would find that difficult to believe. Surely he could have found a club outside of the Premier League where he could have fulfilled his ambitions without betraying those Arsenal fans who still considered him one of their own. All too often his has professed his love for the club, but clearly that cannot be the case if he opted for Chelsea.
I don't even think Jose Mourinho was the driving force behind his purchase at the Chelsea end with Roman Abramovic looking like he was the one who really wanted Cesc. Mourinho was only too happy to offload Juan Mata in January and Cesc is not too dissimilar from Mata. If Cesc isn't a Mourinho purchase he could find things aren't as rosy as he would like in the Chelsea garden.
Wenger once said he was sure Cesc would come back to Arsenal one day, but the club passed on the option when it came up. If he had been available last summer before Ozil was signed then I think Arsenal would have jumped at the chance to sign him. You can't turn the clock back though and what's done is done.
If Cesc had finished up at the likes of PSG or Bayern Munich then I don't think the fans would have reacted badly, but Chelsea are a different matter. It looks to me and many others that money was the reason he chose Chelsea and I have no doubt he will get a very rough reception when he plays against Arsenal.
There's a school of thought that Cesc isn't all that, but his statistics over the last couple of seasons at Barcelona would seem to say otherwise. Arsenal will have to sign some genuine class to convince their fans they were right to pass on the chance of signing their former captain as he comes into the prime of his career. I hope they can do just that and continue with the progress the team has shown this season.
Some might think I'm bitter about Arsenal not signing Cesc, but I learned a long time ago to support my club and not get too attached to the personnel. Players and management come and go but Arsenal will remain and it's the club I support. Of course I cheer the players and want the very best ones to play for Arsenal, but I will always support the team/club come hell or high water.
I'm disappointed Cesc isn't coming back because he would have made the team a better one in my opinion and I wanted to see him in an Arsenal shirt again. He is dead to me now though and I couldn't care less how his career goes from here. All that matters is Arsenal and he's just another former player who didn't really have the love for the club that he professed.
That's it for today.
See you tomorrow.