The summer transfer window for the English Premier League is scheduled to close on August 31, and Arsenal cannot wait for it to come and go—that is, barring that Alex Song remains with the team.
With two weeks remaining, priority No. 1 is holding on to the prized midfielder.
Rumors have circulated that Barcelona covets Song's services for their club, but ESPN.com.uk reports that Song is happy in Arsenal.
"I am not going to lie if I said there is no interest but I am at Arsenal and I am happy at Arsenal," he told Sky Sports. "Barcelona are the best team in the world, and speculation will always continue until the window closes."
Since Song has flat out stated he's happy, Arsenal must do their best to keep him content. The kind of production he brings to the team cannot be lost.
In 2011, Song had himself a great season. The midfielder concluded with one goal and an amazing 11 assists. Simply put, Alex was the distributor of the team, and he excelled in his role. We should remember that in the game at Liverpool last season, it was Song who delivered the assist for Robin van Persie to volley in a game winner.
Defensively, Song might be as good as it gets. He's a very physical player, and he plays with 90 minutes of energy every game. Alex averaged 2.9 tackles per game along with 1.2 clearances. Without the midfielder, Arsenal's defense is weak. Last season, they finished with the seventh-best goals allowed. If you take away Song and his defensive prowess, the club wouldn't finish close to that.
Seeing everything he brings to the team, it's no surprise that the Cameroonian finished second in Arsenal's Player of the Season Poll.
However, Arsenal could keep Song for a different role.
As pointed out by Tim Keeney here at B/R, Arsenal just doesn't have the depth needed at certain positions—specifically midfield. Song's absence would mean trouble for the club. It just doesn't make sense to let Alex Song walk, which would "create too many holes."
If Arsenal cannot keep their key midfielder, more harm will be done this season than good.
He's still signed through 2014 and at age 25, Song has plenty left to offer the club. It will be interesting to see how this pans out for Arsenal though.