Arsenal Transfers: Signing a Defensive Midfielder Key to Gunners' Success

Mikhail Turner@MikhailTurnerContributor IIIOctober 12, 2012

SO KON PO, HONG KONG - JULY 29:  Alex Song of Arsenal FC in action during the pre-season Asian Tour friendly match between Kitchee FC and Arsenal at Hong Kong Stadium on July 29, 2012 in Hong Kong.  (Photo by Victor Fraile/Getty Images)
Victor Fraile/Getty Images

Arsenal's decision to let Alex Song sign for Barcelona this summer is one of the strangest decisions the club has made in the transfer market recently.

The Gunners' lack of depth in terms of a defensive midfield position could really hamper their chances for some sort of silverware.

Arsene Wenger let go the closest thing to a defensive midfielder, at least one with tons of experience and quality, in the squad while pinning his hopes on players returning from injury and younger players as well.

The two main players expected to fill his spot in the Arsenal midfield are Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby.

Gooners will hope that Wilshere's age means his recovery is not prolonged by any niggling injuries, and so far, the signs are promising. They'll also hope that he shows the same form he showcased while playing against the likes of Andres Iniesta and Xavi a few years ago.

Diaby had a promising start to the campaign and may well have been on his way to showing the club his best self, but, again, injury has halted progress.

For now, the club has relied on Mikel Arteta to fulfill primary defensive duties in midfield, knowing that Francis Coquelin and Emmanuel Frimpong can come into the squad and perform the same role if necessary.

Arteta has been fantastic in the role thus far, and he is among the leaders in the league in tackles per game and interceptions per game, according to

The problem with this is that the other title-challenging teams do not depend on players who are still finding their way to the top and have small amounts of experience.

Manchester United called upon Paul Scholes last season to help rectify problems in midfield and almost retained the title as a result.

Manchester City continues to bring in players with good experience, with even a youngster like Jack Rodwell having featured in over 100 games for Everton in various competition.

Chelsea still has the likes of Frank Lampard to go along with new signings such as Eden Hazard.

While the Gunners have been praised, and rightly so, for their defensive efforts for the majority of the season so far, when the games come thick and fast and increase in importance, it may be hard to rely on a 30-year-old Arteta through all this.

The perceived problems on the offensive end have led to rumours about various players and calls for new signings offensively. In truth, unless someone like Theo Walcott is sold, the club has no real need for attacking additions.

In January, Wenger should look to add to the club's midfield with a defensive-minded player. Lucas Biglia has been linked by the Metro, and Yann M'Vila was linked by the Daily Mail over the summer. More recently, reported that Celtic's Victor Wanyama was attracting interest from Arsenal and Manchester United.

These are solid options for the club and should be considered if Arsenal wants compete for one of the major trophies.

That would give Arsenal good depth for the midfield, with players able to fill both a box-to-box role and a more defensive-minded role even if there are one or two injuries.