Barcelona’s bench is this way? Right, mate?

It’s a mark of how far a player has come that one who was once a popular choice to be run out of town in Alex Song (circa 2007ish), now has a good portion of the Arsenal fanbase up in arms over his sale to Barcelona for £15 million/€19 million.  Song came in as lanky, somewhat clumsy looking “defensive” midfielder although at the time Arsenal had bought him from Bastia in France, he had played one season of top-flight soccer as a center back.  Now, as the Cameroonian leaves Arsenal he leaves as a deep-playing midfielder with a penchant for lovely, little, lofted through-balls albeit mixed with patches of lack of defensive concentration.

There may not have been a more perfect example of Wenger’s ability to develop players than one Alex Song.  He certainly ranks up there as one of the biggest profits from the original sale price albeit far behind the greatest piece of Wenger’s transfer business history in Nicolas Anelka (bought for £500,000 from PSG before being sold to Real Madrid for £22.5 million).

Some people are decrying the sale to Barcelona as further evidence of Arsenal’s lack of ambition & current, wait for it… crisis, at the club but you can stick me in the camp that believes Song may not be missed as much as people think.  We all know he’s not a true defensive midfielder & was only the most deep-playing of our midfielders & with the players coming back from injury such as Abou Diaby & Jack Wilshere, and youngsters coming through like Francis Coquelin & Emmanuel Frimpong (who is coming back from his own injury worry) we actually have the numbers in midfield to go ahead in the season.

Song’s newly found skill for lofted through balls aside, I think his sale could very well be a case of “addition by subtraction” as Song’s lack of concentration in his defensive duties is certainly a place where Wenger & the team can improve upon from last season.  Couple that with the recent rumors of Song having a “bad attitude” in training, I don’t think we’ll miss Alexandre Song when the dust settles from this deal.  And as Gunnerblog points out, Song was the client of David Dein, former vice-chairman of the club, & with his departure now Dein’s connection to Arsenal is all in the past.

Some Song numbers starts off 7amkickoff & Arseblog’s good, and sometimes humorous, “By The Numbers” feature for this week:

204 – Games played for Arsenal by Alex Song
10 – Goals scored for Arsenal by Alex Song
24 – Assists for Arsenal by Alex Song
15 – Millions of reasons Arsene sold Alex Song

Wenger has said he is looking to bring in another midfielder, currently likely to be Nuri Şahin form Real Madrid whom he courted when he was at Borussia Dortmund as well. Yann M’Vila to Arsenal rumors are still out there as well, though with Arsène Wenger’s cheeky history, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch if someone else were brought in already-legendary Şahin or M’Vila’s stead.  Either way, if a deal is to be done, word on the streets (or Twitter, as it were) is that the deal is to be done this coming week.

The reserves, in the new U-21 format, play Bolton Wanderers tomorrow, by the way.  The official site has the full reserve/U-21 fixtures list.

And with that, I think I’ll leave you be & anyway I just got a hankering for some ice cream & some Football Manager 2010.  Vanilla it will be & if you’re a vanilla flavor hater, you can tell ya story walkin’ for all I care.  Vanilla & Bristolona to d’top!

Updated signing/departures list (updates in red):
Confirmed signings: Santi Cazorla (Málaga), Olivier Giroud (Montpellier), Lukas Podolski (1. FC Köln)
Confirmed departures: Benik Afobe (Bolton Wanderers- loan), Manuel Almunia (released- Watford), Pedro Botelho (Atletico Paranaense), George Brislen-Hall (released), Alban Bunjaku (Sevilla), Joel Campbell (Real Betís-loan), Denílson (São Paulo-loan), Gavin Hoyte (released- Dagenham & Redbridge), Sean McDermott (released), Jeffrey Monakana (Preston North End), Rhys Murphy (Telstar Velsen), Oğuzhan Özyakup (Beşiktaş), Ryo Miyaichi (Wigan Athletic- loan), Alex Song (Barcelona), Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad), Sanchez Watt (released- Arsenal reserves?), Wellington Silva (Ponferradina- loan)

Likely signings: Nuri Şahin (Real Madrid- loan)
Likely departures: Andrei Arshavin (Al-Sadd [Qatar], Fulham, Galatasaray, Reading, Zenit Saint-Petersburg), Niklas Bendtner (Celta Vigo, Galatasaray, AC Milan, Spartak Moscow), Marouane Chamakh (Beşiktaş, Fiorentina, Rubin Kazan, Valencia-loan), Łukasz Fabiański, Vito Mannone (Hull City), Chu/Ju-Young Park (Al-Ain [UAE], Blackburn Rovers), Sébastian Squillaci (Bastia, Olympiakos Piraeus)

Possible signings: Lucas Biglia (RSC Anderlecht), Etienne Capoue (Toulouse), Tongo Doumbia (Rennes), Omar El-Haddouri (Brescia), Stéphane Mbia (Olympique Marseille), Kévin Mirallas (Olympiakos), Stevan Jovetic (Fiorentina), Philippe Mèxes (AC Milan), Mbaye Niang (Caen), Steven Nzonzi (Blackburn Rovers), Paulinho (Corinthians), Jese Rodriguez (Real Madrid), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Kenneth Udjus (Sogndal), Emiliano Viviano (Palermo), Ki-Seung Yeung (Glasgow Celtic) 
Possible departures: Daniel Boateng (loan), Johann Djourou (Napoli), Conor Henderson (Charlton Athletic-loan), Henri Lansbury, Ignasi Miquel (Brighton & Hove Albion- loan), Aaron Ramsey (Fulham), Theo Walcott (Liverpool, Southampton)

  1. […] Song To Barcelona: Will He Actually Be As Missed As Some Think? […]

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