Alex Song: Former Arsenal Player Will Have Little Impact on Barcelona
After much speculation, Barcelona finally acquired midfielder Alex Song from Arsenal. Unfortunately, he will not live up to his price tag on his new team.
According to Matt Scott of the Daily Telegraph, the transfer was completed on Monday for a fee of £15 million. For this price, Barcelona gets a talented 24-year-old player who has plenty of experience playing at the highest levels.
However, he is not the player that the team needs.
Song is known as a midfielder who pushes the offense as much as he can. He is not a goal-scoring threat, but he did have 11 assists in the English Premier League last season with Arsenal and three more outside of league play.
The problem is that Barcelona will need him more on the defensive end. You can never have too much offense, but Barcelona has plenty of offensive-minded players who know how to set up teammates. Between Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and even David Villa, they have that role covered.
Therefore, Song will not only need to play more of a defensive midfield, but he needs to not get too eager on breaks and get caught out of position. So far in his career, he has not shown that he can handle that role.
Stefan Coerts at Goal.com reported that Song's former coach at Cameroon, Javier Clemente, gave an interesting assessment of the talented player. The coach said that the midfielder "is a much better player in attack than he is defensively."
Last season, Arsenal conceded 49 goals in league play. This mark was only eighth-best in the EPL, despite the fact that the team finished in third place. While Song is not entirely responsible for the team's poor defensive play, there were definitely times where he could be considered at fault.
Barcelona made a great addition this offseason with Jordi Alba—a solid defender who can also help offensively. The club will not be getting the same level of play from Song.
Alex Song was a good player for Arsenal, and he should be solid on his new team. However, any fans who are hoping for a big spark from the new acquisition to help in the fight to win La Liga should temper their expectations.
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