Alexandre Song: What Transfer to FC Barcelona Means for La Liga Favorite
During his time at Arsenal, he highlighted the many attributes that led an elite club like Barcelona to desire him.
When a new player arrives, however, the question is not if he is truly any good.
The question is: Is he any good for the club? What does he add or bring that the team needed? Why Song over another midfielder?
Song has yet to play with his new teammates enough to determine exactly how valuable of an asset he is, but his play at Arsenal does allow for insight into how he will fit into this team.
Here is what Song's arrival means for the Catalan club.
1. Moving on from Keita
When Seydou Keita left for Dalian Aerbin F.C., he left a hole in the squad. Sergio Busquets was left as the only true strong defensive midfielder.
Song has not only filled that hole; he has upgraded it. At 32 years old, Keita was reaching the end of his career. He will now be replaced by Song, who is only 24. Keita was once one of the best defensive midfielders in the world, but Song will give Barcelona confidence at the position for years to come.
2. Strength in Midfield
As skilled as the midfield of Barcelona is, it is not a group with overwhelming size and strength. Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta all measure 5'7" and play with their feet as opposed to their bodies.
Song, on the other hand, is 6'0" and is one of the strongest midfielders in the world. He allows for a superior level of force and can dominate opposing players with his body.
Having Song on the pitch will allow Barcelona to play with speed while not having to worry about being overpowered by players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
3. Best Passing in the World
Barcelona was already considered to be perhaps the best passing team in the world. The team's signature offense is one set up by quick and intelligent passing.
With Song added to the mix, there is no longer any debate. Alexandre Song is one of the best passers in the world, as demonstrated by the video, and will elevate the level of the entire team's offense when he is on the field.
Song's capacity to create space with his touches will complement the short passing of the team while taking advantage of Messi's speedy runs. He will also highlight Xavi's ability to create offense.
4. Quick Transition
The thing that makes Alex Song so special as a defensive midfielder is his capacity to play both sides of the ball.
He is a superb defender and can even play central defender when necessary. He dispossesses his opponents of the ball often and with immense skill. He then uses his passing to launch an attack from there and contributes greatly to the offense, despite not being a prolific goalscorer.
This skill set will allow Barcelona to transition into counterattacks quickly which will benefit players such as Lionel Messi who play best with space.
5. Deep Bench
Barcelona's starting roster is already one of the strongest squads in the world. With the signing of Alex Song, they may now have the strongest bench in the world as well.
Sergio Busquets is likely to remain the starter at defensive midfielder, but Song will still contribute greatly. Depending on the starting team, he will join players such as Cesc Fabregas and Ibrahim Afellay as a substitute.
Many teams would love to have those names headlining their club.