The truth behind Alex Song's departure from Arsenal

By: Dean Harry [@AFCAMDEN]
Alex Song was sold by Arsenal, rather than him leaving being another player 'leaving'.

The problem's started last season, when Song became agitated about his contract situation and it started to affect his on-field performance. The management were furious with his lack of defensive discipline and laziness towards the end of last season, in particular after the loss of Mikel Arteta to injury. Song didn't jet off to his summer holidays on best terms with the Arsenal staff.

Pre-season began, and Song's Agent (Darren Dein) approached Arsenal for talks over improved terms for his client. Arsenal let Darren Dein know that Song had 3 years remaining and would only be willing to sit down with him once other situations had been sorted. After that, Song's attitude in training became a serious problem.

Song had always been a bit flashy and was sometimes late & slow, however he'd now become disruptive and was deemed to not be working hard enough, openly bragging about how much Barcelona want him to his teammates. This problem came to a head in Cologne, where Steve Bould, Arsene's new right-hand man, "almost had Alex Song by the throat for being lazy and not listening to instructions". Alex Song's Arsenal career was in the balance.

The tipping point for Arsenal was when they found out his Agent, Darren Dein, had been offering him around Europe to other clubs; Barcelona in particular. They believed Dein agreed a contract for Song with Barca to force their hand into giving him improved terms; however, it did quite the opposite with Arsenal being "disgusted" with this behvaiour. A few days after the First-Team had returned from Cologne, Alex Song was told he could leave.

After knocking down approaches earlier in the Summer, Arsenal let Barcelona know that Song was now available at the right price, and they were happy to negotiate. Barca came in, and a deal was wrapped up relatively quickly for two clubs who don't hold the best working relationship.

It was Arsenal's choice to sell Song, and although to the naked eye it seems he's gone on to better himself, the fact Arsenal have let him go with 3 years left for a fee they could have easily commanded next year, shows how they were happy to let him go and he was no longer part of their plans.