Let’s talk Arsenal. They’re playing well this season despite a few bumps in the road, and a host of injuries – and more importantly, they have an upcoming fixture list that is just superb: Fulham, Blackburn, Birmingham, and West Ham are the next four. Talk about taking on mid-table mediocrity.
So – if you’re looking for some offensive Arsenal investment (and let’s leave the injured Arshavin out of the equation for now), and are considering Cesc Fabregas vs Robin van Persie – let’s take a look at the pros and cons:
RVP: In February I called RVP the “next Ronaldo,”
from a fantasy perspective. While Wayne Rooney may have snuck in and taken that title, I still think RVP has much to offer this season. He’s been wasteful in the box this season,
and only has 1 league goal – but he is still in the Top 5 in terms of points per game for a forward. This is a testament to his passing skills and propensity for picking up bonus points. His 4 assists are tied for the league lead, and he’s added 7 bonus points. Don’t forget – Arsenal have played one less game than most teams in the league.
Van Persie is also on direct free kicks, corner kicks, and penalties. At 10M, he is also cheaper than Fabregas (10.6M). That’s the good news. But what about the bad news? Well – with Arshavin returning to fitness soon, and Arsenal’s fixture list getting congested
with European and cup matches in October, Wenger may revert to his old ways and start resting RVP against lesser teams in the league. Conjecture, sure – but having already missed a Champions League game due to a knee injury this year- the risk is always there.
Lastly, it just feels so terrible (from a fantasy footie perspective) leaving 10M on the bench once a month. Just absolutely terrible. Trust me, I’ve been there with RVP and vowed never to go back.
Cesc: The highest scoring midfielder from a points per game perspective (9 points per game) this season, Fabregas is an assist machine and a bonus point magnet. 20 assists in 2007-2008 and 10 assists in an injury shortened half season last year prove the Spanish midfield maestro’s vision is world class. As the club captain, he is much less of a rotation risk than Van Persie, and as a midfielder – is also “Captain material” more than Van Persie is – with the chance not only of regular assists and bonus points, but the occasional clean sheet and goal as well.
Fabregas has found a bit of a scoring touch recently, as the presence of Alex Song in defensive midfield allows Cesc to make late runs into the box – a la Gerrard / Lampard. He’s not a 10 + goal a season midfielder by any means, however. On the other hand, he has started scoring a bit more for Spain recently – in the Confederations Cup over the summer, and in World Cup qualifying just a few weeks ago. Will that comfort and confidence in front of goal translate into a double digit goalscoring season? Doubtful without set pieces / penalties, but who knows.
The negatives, of course, are the lack of set piece duties in the long run (though he is on non-shooting opportunity free kicks) as well as the high price tag for a player who relies so heavily on bonus points to be productive from a fantasy perspective.
In conclusion, if someone could ring up Arsene Wenger and ask him if RVP will pick up 30+ Premier League starts, and he answers, “yes,” than I do believe it’s a no-brainer: RVP is your main man. But with the jury still out on his injury/rotation problems, and Fabregas’ club captain status, newly found attacking mindset, and history of bonus point glory – the situation just gets that much stickier.
RVP always has more of a chance (than anyone in world football) of straining a calf in pre-match warmups, but at his price, he just seems so tempting as the main man in Arsenal’s impressive attack.
Who would you rather employ?
- RvP the Next Ronaldo
- Cesc Fabregas, Mullet, Set for Return
- RvP to Manchester United?
- Cesc Fabregas: "I have no Friends"
- RvP to Eat Only Porridge: Gunners Love Dickens’ Novels