Both players are being linked with moves away this summer.
Groves told talkSPORT: "I actually think he's more important now than Cesc Fabregas for Arsenal's future.
"If Cesc wants to go to Barcelona because he has that calling and he's not 100 per cent committed, as long as Arsenal get the right money for him, whether it's £40m or £50m they can then go and buy the centre-half and the combative midfield player they need.
"And then when Cesc Fabregas came back in the team he played him left of the three or right of the three and he wasn't as influential.
"His contract has only got one season left so he now will want to go on to be one of the highest earners on the wage structure and I think he'll want guarantees of where he'll play so there is a little bit of brinkmanship going on."