Alex Song has ended is career with Arsenal after agreeing to a five-year deal with Barcelona that will net him around £15 million. This news was surprising to me because the move was done so stealthy in the wake of Robin van Persie's jump to Manchester United. The focus of the media was primarily on Van Persie's move and the start of the season against Sunderland. The Cameroon international leaving the Gunners is just another disappointment for fans who watched a club on Saturday that looked slow and lacked intensity.
After the 0-0 draw with Sunderland, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger made a point of the influence Arsenal had on Song and alluded to the possibility of his club making further signings before the close of the transfer window - they sort of have to. To look at the squad that was on the pitch this weekend, no one would dispute the fact that Arsenal needs some help right away, before the Gunners are lacking in skill against such teams like Manchester City and Tottenham.
When asked about Song, Wenger told Sky Sports, "Yes he's going to Barcelona. He's another good player that leaves us and there's two things you feel always that you did your job, that we take these boys at 17 years of age and we've influenced their career in a positive way."
You may've influenced their careers, but when Arsenal is finally at a place of maximizing their talent, they jump off the Gunners' ship faster than Wenger can explain his frugal view on how to keep talent in London. If Arsenal can't compensate on Song they could really suffer with passing in the midfield all season. Song was more valuable than I think some people realize. He was quick and he had a nice touch when his mobility was limited. Song always seemed to make something out of nothing in a hairy situation.
If losing Van Persie was the dagger in the heart, losing Song to Barcelona is the twist of the dagger. At least he didn't go to a Premier League rival.
Arsenal rally can not lose anymore players. Arsenal lost a player who scored 30 goals for them last year and Arsenal just lost Song, who made 204 appearances for Arsenal during his seven seasons at the club, scoring 10 goals. He was missing from the team for the Sunderland contest after Barcelona made their interest known earlier in the week.
Arsenal desperately needs a win to get the fans' minds off these big losses. You're almost waiting for the next star player to exit any day.
Note: I've been an Arsenal fan for nearly a decade. My cousin got me interested in the club at a young age.