Everyone saw it coming, although the sight of Cesc Fabregas in a Chelsea shirt is something no Arsenal fan could have prepared themselves for, Arsene Wenger included.
On the eve of the World Cup, Chelsea tried their best to steal the limelight from Brazil by confirming they had captured Spain's most famous midfielder. The Barcelona star has joined on a five-year contract and, rather predictably, admitted his delight at completing a move to Stamford Bridge.
In a statement on his Facebook page, Fabregas also shed some light on the situation regarding his former club Arsenal and revealed that Wenger had indeed rejected the chance to re-sign his former captain, essentially giving the player little choice but to sign for their Premier League title rivals.
He stated: "Yes, everyone knows that Arsenal had the first option to sign me. They decided not to take this option and therefore it wasn't meant to be. I wish them well in the future."
Tactically, it makes sense. Arsenal have Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla, which already represents an embarrassing amount of riches when it comes to creative midfielders. The only logical way for Fabregas to fit in the squad would be to clip his wings and force him to play in a defensive role, replacing Mikel Arteta. Wenger wasn't convinced Fabregas had what it took to play such a role and opted against signing him.
However, football fans do not think tactically or with their heads; they see the game through rose tinted glasses and expect managers to do the same. The fact is, rejecting Fabregas seems nothing short of cold hearted from the Frenchman. There is always the chance he could have fit Fabregas in even if it meant offloading or "killing" - a phrase coined by Wenger - another star.
Allowing Fabregas to sign for Chelsea has set Wenger up for massive backlash from Arsenal fans, who have only just forgiven him for nine questionable years in charge.
The fact is, Mesut Ozil has hardly been a roaring success since joining and will now be under more pressure to perform. Another listless season, coupled with a spectacular return to English football for Fabregas, and that could be the end of Wenger's Arsenal legacy.
Imagine the picture, Chelsea turn up at the Emirates Stadium in January 2015 for a Premier League game. The Blues are top of the table while Arsenal are languishing in fifth place. Mesut Ozil is on the bench after being dropped for poor form while Fabregas is currently to bookies favourite to win PFA Player of the Year.
How would Arsenal fans respond? They would certainly be as to whether they should boo Fabregas or not but they certainly wouldn't hesitate to boo their manager, who would have a lot to answer for.
Obviously such a scenario is highly unlikely. Ozil is still a top player and, at his best, better - not to mention, younger - than Fabregas. If he finds his best form next season all will be forgotten. There is also no guarantee that Fabregas will succeed. He will be competing with Oscar for a first team place and could find himself on the bench at Stamford Bridge.
There was no right answer for Wenger when it came to signing Fabregas. If he manages to sign Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann and Lars Bender, then Arsenal fans won't even remember who Fabregas is. But Arsenal fans have grown used to Wenger's ways and are, justifiably, fearing the very worst.
If such an occurrence happens, not even an FA Cup can save his relationship with Arsenal fans. He would surely be a goner, not a Gooner.
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