Robin van Persie isn't Arsenal's only high-profile departure of the summer, as it turns out. Immediately following the 0-0 draw against Sunderland to open the season, the Gunners have announced the departure of midfielder Alex Song to Barcelona.
While Song's an excellent player -- he's one of the top defensive midfielders in the Premier League thanks to his combinations of athleticism and vision, even if his positioning is fairly erratic -- it's difficult to understand Barcelona's rationale here. The Catalans already possess both Sergio Busquets and Javier Mascherano, and, at best, they've spent a reported €19M to give the latter increased competition as Busquets' central midfield understudy. It's difficult to see Song's style fitting in at the Camp Nou.
Arsenal, meanwhile, are pretty clearly weakened. Although Olivier Giroud, Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski have all come in, their midfield, normally a strength, is now looking somewhat dubious. There are rumours that they're chasing Real Madrid's Nuri Sahin, but Sahin is much more like Mikel Arteta than he is Song. Either way, get read for an interesting couple of weeks in the transfer window, Gunners fans!