It has been an interesting transfer window for Arsenal so far this summer, with the exciting additions of Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla counteracted by the blow of Robin van Persie’s desire to leave north London. However, one transfer story that could well galvanise the Emirates Stadium club is Alex Song’s decision to commit to the club.
The Cameroon international has grown in stature over recent years, and proved his worth last term after Cesc Fabregas’ departure and in Jack Wilshere’s absence. Song’s blend of combativeness in front of the defence and creativity from deep have rightly seen the African battler emerge as a key man for Arsene Wenger’s side.
However, Barcelona have taken note and are eager to bring Song to Camp Nou as a replacement for Seydou Keita. Speculation over the player’s future has rumbled on over the last month, but Song has now expressed a willingness to stay with his current employers, despite the pedigree of his suitors.
Song’s decision bucks the trend over the last five years, as Gunners fans have had to watch in despair as leading players have left the club. The likes of Gael Clichy, Kolo Toure, Samir Nasri and now captain Van Persie have all touted ambition and the search for silverware as the reason to depart north London, in a vicious cycle for the club.
However, Song’s rejection of Barcelona may well have the uniting effect that the club need. Not only is the African a key man on the pitch who drives their style of play, but the fact that a major Gunners player has turned his back on a European giant such as Barcelona will be critical in changing the current mentality of the Arsenal squad that there is a step-up to be made away from north London.