While Alex Song's transfer from Arsenal to Barcelona has been known about for some time, on Monday the move became official.
Arsenal's website officially announced Song's departure on Monday afternoon:
The transfer of Alex Song to Barcelona has been completed for an undisclosed fee.
Song joined Arsenal in 2005 from French side SC Bastia, initially on loan, and his move was made permanent a year later. He went on to make a total of 204 appearances for the Gunners.
The undisclosed fee is believed to be in the neighborhood of €19 million.
Song was an excellent box-to-box midfielder for the Gunners, using a strong, physical presence to make an impact defensively from his holding role while also flashing his creativity and offensive virtue in the 2011-12 season, finishing with 14 assists in all competitions.
His desire to make the move to Barcelona was pretty shocking at first, as was the team's willingness to facilitate such a move. Surely, Song will see far less playing time with Barca than he did at Arsenal, and just as surely, the Gunners would have a hard time replacing him.
But recent information suggests that Arsene Wenger and Arsenal may have grown weary over difficulties with the player. From John Cross of the Mirror:
But the truth behind the Cameroon star’s departure is that the club decided to sell after he continually turned up late for training, was seen as being lazy, drove the coaching staff to distraction and lacked defensive discipline.
For the Gunners, the arrival of Nuri Sahin on loan from Real Madrid will help alleviate the loss of Song. For Barca, they now have a holding midfielder to back up Sergio Busquets and give them added depth for the grind of a domestic and Champions League campaign.
And for Song, he gets the chance to join former Arsenal teammate Cesc Fabregas on an unbelievably deep Barcelona squad. One hopes he enjoys watching his teammates on the pitch as he does playing with them.
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