Sahin for Song. Not really.
The deal on Robin Van Persie is that Sir Alex went public to pressurize Arsenal on loosening their grip on the striker for a cheaper price. RVP has not been an easy sell and there is a growing belief in certain camps that he maybe persuaded to stay on. His logic of a club without ambition was pre-empted to a certain degree with the influx of quality signings made.
The more intriguing development is Alex Song now exploring his id and weighing transfer options, possibly to Barcelona. Naturally, with all the talk of Nuri Sahin coming on a loan transfer from Real, the first instinct is he a replacement for Song?
Sahin’s background is that he did not get enough playing time at Real after he failed to impress Jose Mourinho and grew increasingly disgruntled sitting on the bench. He will expect to be playing significant minutes at the Emirates. Is this at the cost of Song? Last season Song discovered his creative instincts as he became Arsenal’s most incisive passer. But he was guilty of trying it too often and also neglecting his chief job description, protecting a vulnerable back line.
Song has not had competition for his position in a long time. Denilson was no match, Abou Diaby has been too injured, and Emmanuel Frimpong is still a few seasons away from being the answer. In this context, Sahin, a more traditional midfielder should be seen not as a replacement but as challenging Song, reining in his ambitious forays up front and his tardy responses going back.
These were especially noticeable when Mikel Arteta was out and Arsenal went into a swoon giving up some cheap goals. Besides, if Sahin is a direct replacement for Song that would be too many new players untested in the Premiership holding key roles. There are various ways of bringing good healthy pressure on a player and Wenger is not going to give up on one of his success stories on a problem that can be easily solved. Sahin’s rumoured transfer should be seen as a complementary move.