Sometimes the grass is not always greener—a reality that Alex Song seems to be learning by the day at Barcelona.
Perennially on the peripheries of the side, and allegedly ill at ease with some of his teammates, the time may well be right for the central midfielder to cut his losses and return to the Premier League.
CONTRACT SITUATION: Signed to a five-year deal last summer, Song is currently contracted to Barcelona up until the summer of 2017.
CAREER STOPS: Bastia (2001-2006), Arsenal (loan 2005-2006), Arsenal (2006-2012), Charlton Athletic (loan 2007), Barcelona (2012-present)
CURRENT CAMPAIGN: La Liga—19 games, one goal; Champions League—eight games; Copa del Rey—five games, one assist; Supercopa—one game.
SCOUTING GUIDE: After finally beginning to establish himself in the EPL, English fans are familiar with the many talents that Song brings to the table.
A large unit, he is fairly effective as a destructive player in midfield, and perhaps perceptive enough to play the role of ‘water-carrier’ in the centre of the park (although not, perhaps, to contribute to Barcelona’s Tiki-taka).
In his final season in England he demonstrated his wonderful technique and vision, setting up some glorious goals for Robin van Persie with a collection of sumptuous passes.
Opportunities have been hard to come by in Catalonia since his £15 million transfer last summer, and Song may well be keen on a return to the league where he made his name.
WHERE NEXT? Once again the two North London giants look set to be scrapping together—this time for a signature rather than a place in the Champions League.
The Daily Mail reported this week that Tottenham could well be in line to bring the Cameroonian midfielder back to the Premier League. The move would be an understandable one for Spurs; while the player has an obvious Arsenal past, he has experience in the EPL and with Tom Huddlestone likely heading for the exit, and Scott Parker on his last legs, Song could be the answer.
The player himself is said to be keener on a return to Arsenal, but it remains to be seen whether Arsene Wenger would welcome him back so readily. Pragmatically, however, the midfielder’s reacquisition would be a sensible move—with Mikel Arteta coming towards the end of his career, and Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby permanently on the treatment table, Song could add some stability to some familiar surroundings.
Earlier in May, the Standard reported that Song would be inclined to stick it out in Spain a little longer—but don’t be surprised to see him return to British shores this summer.