Cesc Fabregas would block paths of Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain if he returns to Arsenal, says Martin Keown

Former defender Martin Keown offers warning over possible return to the Emirates for the Spain international

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown would not be surprised if Arsene Wenger turns down the chance to re-sign Cesc Fabregas.

The Spanish playmaker is reported to be available for transfer this summer and keen on a reunion with Arsenal, where he scored 57 goals in 303 appearances.

Arsenal, however, are understood to have passed up the opportunity to bring Fabregas back to the club, leaving London rivals Chelsea in pole position to seal the 27-year-old's signature.

"I'm not surprised," said Keown, who made 449 appearances for the Gunners and was speaking on behalf of Official England Supporter williamhill.com.

"After Fabregas left, Arsene had to invest time in someone else and he doesn't want to block their path if Fabregas comes back.

"Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is someone who can play in that central midfield position as well as Jack Wilshere of course.

"Wenger probably feels he's more than catered for in that attacking midfield area - it's a defensive midfielder that's going to be more purposeful in that Arsenal squad now."

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of England arrives into Rio de Janeiro Galeao International Airport Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of England arrives into Rio de Janeiro Galeao International Airport  

Arsenal splashed a club-record £42.4m on Real Madrid's Mesut Ozil last summer and already have the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta in their creative ranks - as well as Wilshere and Oxlade-Chamberlain.

If the club are to make any star signings before the start of the new campaign, Keown believes it will be a striker - rather than a midfielder - that comes in.

"I do believe Fabregas would improve any team in the world so of course, he deserves special consideration but there are only so many £30m players you can buy every summer," Keown said.

"Arsene Wenger has just signed a new three-year contract and I'm not sure he'll be signing another one so he might think if he's going to spend £30m, he would prefer it to be on a centre forward than another midfielder."

Fabregas joined Arsenal as a 16-year-old in 2003 and matured into one of the world's most exciting creative talents.

Named club captain in 2008, the Spaniard developed a strong attachment to the Gunners and described Wenger as "like a father figure" in an emotional parting tribute in 2011.

Keown admits a move to another English club, particularly fellow title-challengers Chelsea, would prove difficult for both Fabregas and Arsenal's supporters.

"I don't think Chelsea would be an ideal move for Fabregas having been at Arsenal before, but it remains to be seen where he ends up," Keown added.

"People move on, people make their decisions and if he ends up playing for one of Arsenal's rivals that's football, it's just the way it is."

Fabregas is currently on World Cup duty with Spain, who start the defence of their title against Holland on Friday.

PA

Suggested Topics
Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum