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
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game Of Thrones
Uh-oh, winter is coming. Ouch, my eyes! Ygritte’s a goner. Lysa’s a goner. Tywin’s a goner. Look, a dragon
tvSpoiler warning: The British actor says viewers have 'not seen the last' of his character
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Sport
Esteban Cambiasso makes it 3-3
premier league
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
The Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City
premier leaguePlus updates from Everton vs Palace
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
News
i100
News
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleFirst memoir extracts show she 'felt pressured' into going out with the Sex Pistols manager
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late
Sport
Lewis Hamilton in action during the Singapore Grand Prix
Formula OneNico Rosberg retires after 14 laps
News
i100
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
News
peopleActress tells men: 'It's your issue too'
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

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam