Djourou - No Cesc distraction
Johan Djourou insists Arsenal cannot afford to be distracted by speculation surrounding Cesc Fabregas.
Last Updated: 07/07/11 4:16pm
Johan Djourou insists the Arsenal squad cannot afford to be distracted by speculation surrounding the future of Cesc Fabregas.
It remains unclear where the current Gunners captain will ply his trade next season as the saga linking him with a return to boyhood club Barcelona rumbles on.
Barca are determined to bring their former trainee back to the Camp Nou, but appear unwilling to meet Arsenal's £40million valuation, with vice-president Josep Bartomeu calmly maintaining "we have the whole summer to sign players."
With the future of contract rebel Samir Nasri, who returned to London Colney on Thursday, also still up in the air amid talk of a £20million bid from rivals Manchester United, the continued rumours could cause disruption as Arsene Wenger looks to prepare his side for what will be a crucial UEFA Champions League play-off next month.
Swiss centre-half Djourou, however, insists all the players must focus on the job in hand rather than worry about headlines of a mass exodus.
"We know there will be stories but we know what we're aiming for and what our goal is," he said.
"We want to be successful so we don't really get distracted by this. If he [Fabregas] goes, he goes."
Djourou, however, accepts sometimes when a star name leaves, it actually allows others an opportunity.
"It could be true because when you look at players who normally come out and express themselves, it's when someone goes," Djourou added in Match of the Day magazine.
"When Thierry [Henry] went, Cesc expressed himself even more, but the two together [Fabregas and Nasri] are great so you'd rather keep them.
"If someone goes then I am sure someone will step up."
Arsenal imploded after losing the Carling Cup final to Birmingham in the last minute at Wembley, crashing out of Europe and then the FA Cup before any hopes of a sustained league title challenge also fell by the wayside.
Djourou is confident Wenger's charges have learned from those bitter experiences as they look to end a trophyless run which stretches back to the 2005 FA Cup.
"Last season we were so close to trophies, but also so far. There was a little bit missing but it's not much," he said.
"It's hard to say what's missing. We have players who are still young and who will grow up.
"Experience is very important, but now if you look around this team we have been here for a long time, so it's no more an excuse to say we don't have experience."