Why Arsene Wenger Shouldn't Make January Transfer Move for Alex Song
Alex Song may soon be seeking a return to English shores. However, Arsene Wenger should not be in the market for the Cameroon midfielder. That ship, to continue the nautical theme, has sailed.
According to The Daily Express, Barcelona are “still deciding” whether or not to ship Song out in January.
I do not know what will happen in the future, but it is true that I spent some fantastic seasons there [at Arsenal].
We will see what happens, but for now I'm a Barcelona player.
It would be unfair to say that Song’s Barcelona dream has turned in to a nightmare. He’s won the first major titles of his senior career, triumphing in both La Liga and the Spanish Supercopa. If Song left Arsenal in search of silverware, he can feel somewhat vindicated.
However, footballers want to play games. Song started less than half of Barcelona’s La Liga fixtures in 2012/13. That trend has continued this season, with the Cameroon international beginning just three of Barca’s eight league games to date.
Song must have known he wouldn’t be first choice at Barcelona. Sergio Busquets is a fundamental cog at the heart of the Barcelona engine. However, he would have hoped to make a more positive impact in Spanish football.
When he is picked to play, Song is often singled out for criticism. His passing radar can appear wayward when compared with the intricate “tiki-taka” practised by his teammates.
Barcelona also hoped to field Song as a centre-back. However, whenever he has been asked to fill in for Gerard Pique or Carles Puyol, Song has looked like a fish out of water. He lacks the positional intelligence and defensive rigour required at the base of the side.
It’s almost a case of mistaken identity. Barcelona seem to feel Song isn’t the player they thought they were getting. Now, they want their money back.
Frankly, they should have done more research before making a purchase. Song’s best performances at Arsenal were never as a pure defensive midfielder. His finest hour came in the 2011/12 season, when the discipline of Mikel Arteta freed Song up to become a creator for the likes of Robin van Persie. Song provided a magnificent 11 assists in his final Premier League season.
Should Arsenal bid for Alex Song?
However, Arsenal have now moved on. Arteta has made the defensive midfield role his own, while the likes of Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla have arrived to provide the creative spark.
What’s more, Arsene Wenger has already brought back another former Gunner: Mathieu Flamini. Flamini’s all-action game and constant pressing are a stark juxtaposition to Song’s languid, laid-back style. Arsenal are better for the change: It’s no coincidence that Arsenal’s last serious title challenge came in 2007-08—Flamini’s best and last season with the club.
If Song were to rejoin Arsenal now, he’d look just as out of place with the Gunners as he does in Barcelona.
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