As we all know Song still had three years remaining on his contract, but was still sold to Barcelona for £15m. Song further fuelled speculation by stating he tried to initiate new contract negotiations for eight months, but was refused a new long-term contract with Arsenal saying ‘you have three years left.’
Sagna is quoted as saying the ESPN Soccernet on the ordeal:
We expected Robin Van Persie to leave, but not Alex Song … it was a surprise. I still do not understand.
This is a huge loss for the club. They were the top two players from last season – you ask a lot of questions. I understand that the fans are upset.
He’s 24-years-old, he still had three years of the contract. I still do not understand. This is a huge loss for the club.
When you see the top two players from last season leave, you ask a lot of questions. In the street, fans come to see me sometimes. I understand they are upset. I am like them, I do not quite understand.
This is not alarming, but annoying. At Arsenal, you return from vacation, you’re preparing, you see two players leave the club … That’s the way it is since I am here. I’m used to it.
I’m also the only player in the line-up in 2007 still present. In May, I watched Manchester City’s Premier League trophy parade on TV. I saw Samir and Gael lift the trophy. I want that [feeling].
I just want to play again, be good on the pitch with Arsenal and then we will see.
While the sale of Song was met with uproar by a majority of Arsenal fans, you can’t deny that Arsenal have looked as solid as ever defensively so far this season. The return of Diaby has so far softened the blow of Song’s departure and Arteta has looked excellent playing deeper as the holding midfielder.
Arsenal have taken a calculated risk with Song, particularly with Wilshere returning soon, but I must admit that the Gunner’s strategy of ‘letting’ contracts run down so far before commencing new contract negotiations is a very dangerous game. Hleb, Flamini, Nasri, and Robin van Persie are all examples of when it goes wrong.
Sagna himself only has two years remaining on his own contract with Arsenal and when pressed as to whether Arsenal have begun negotiations for a new contract, he replied ‘no, nobody.’
Here we have someone who is considered best right-back in the league, but has never been approached over a new deal. It seems perplexing that we have never tried to extend his contract, particularly now that only two years remain on it. Is it a case of ‘here we go again?’
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