Arsenal Transfers: Can Arsene Wenger Justify Selling Alex Song to Barcelona?
They couldn't, could they?
Only days after selling Robin van Persie to Manchester United, there seems to be a growing concern amongst Arsenal fans that their club are on the verge of selling Alex Song to Barcelona (via The Independent).
What started out as a seemingly baseless rumour has blossomed into a very real, and very pertinent, possibility.
Putting my own incredulity aside for a moment, let me draw your attention to the price that Barcelona are reported as needing to pay to land Song: £15 million.
£15 million? Are you kidding me, Arsene?
When Spanish defensive midfielder Javier Martinez is reportedly close to joining Bayern Munich for £32 million (via ESPN), can Song really be worth less than half that?
Is it that Wenger wants to start the season with a clean slate—with a group of players who only want to play for Arsenal and whose hearts haven't yet been tempted away by other clubs?
Or does he have another potential signing in his sights, for which he needs that little bit of extra cash to clinch it?
Nuri Sahin can't be it, can he? Despite the fact that he would cost very little on a potential loan deal, he is a relatively poor like-for-like substitute for the Cameroonian.
Borussia Dortmund seems like a very long time ago.
Victor Fraile/Getty Images
Even potential target Yann M'Vila would cost Arsenal more than £15 million and would not be guaranteed to immediately settle in the Premier League.
I only discuss possible replacements because there is not nearly enough depth in the current squad to adequately soften the blow of losing Song.
This is unless Wenger has more faith in Abou Diaby and Emmanuel Frimpong than the fans currently do.
And just on a base level—in the most simplistic and fundamental terms—what kind of a statement does it send to the world when a club sells two of its best players to domestic and European rivals in the space of a few days?
The optimism and excitement that signing Santi Cazorla brought to the club looks to have all but dissipated.
Granted, this is only a storm, and one that will soon pass if the Gunners get the new season off to a flyer.
But what if they don't? What if the club plays in the same manner it did in the early stages of last season, and they are only in fifth place come October?
I am by no means suggesting that Wenger's job would be in danger—he is one of only three managers in the upper tier of job security (Ferguson and Moyes are the other two).
Where will Arsenal finish in the league without Song?
But the fact remains that the club is beginning to seem stuck in a twilight zone-esque vortex that is surely starting to get boring for supporters.
Who would be the next star to leave in a year's time? Vermaelen? Cazorla?
Crazy suggestions now, but twelve months from now, who knows?
Arsene Wenger must draw a line in the sand as soon as possible, and Alex Song must be that line.
You can offer all the justification in the world—"He's a bad influence in the dressing room," "We don't need him," or "I'd rather have M'Vila anyway."
But the truth of the matter is that Arsenal are fast becoming a "selling club"—a fate that they must avoid at all costs.
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