The return of Song to the Emirates, where he spent seven seasons and made over 200 appearances, has been widely reported in recent weeks. Speculation really intensified just a few days ago, as Song’s cousin brother, Rigobert, informed the media about the 25-year-old’s unhappiness at the Nou Camp and willingness to move back to his old stomping ground.
However, according to Metro, Wenger has distanced himself from buying back Song and instead, wants him to focus on his career with Barcelona.
Song has been on the fringes of the Barcelona first-team and has been unable to nail down a starting spot in their star-studded line-up. He has made a lowly 15 league appearances for the Catalan side, most of which were in an unfamiliar centre-back role, and has managed a disappointing one goal with no assists to his name.
This is in stark contrast to his recent seasons with the Gunners, where he was their first-choice defensive midfielder and a regular in the team. In his last two seasons at the Emirates, he scored five goals and provided a remarkable 13 assists in 65 league matches.
Wenger was unable to find a suitable replacement for Song, and has often utilised the more attack-minded Mikel Arteta in the holding midfield role. Arsenal have been sharp in attack, scoring plenty of goals as a result of their ball retention. However, they have been poor on the defensive side, their achilles heel in another fairly disappointing campaign so far.
Much of that can be attributed to the important role in midfield once established by Song, who would shield the defense and break up opposition’s attacks. With Wenger unable to replace the Cameroon midfielder, coupled with his disappointing season at Barca, there were reports indicating Song could be back at Arsenal next season.
However, Wenger has quelled such reports and has no desire to bring back his former enforcer. He said, “There is no buy-back in his contract. I heard he wants to give it a go for another season, which you can understand because it’s the first season. I think he’s a quality player and sometimes the players have to insist when it doesn’t go well and not change his mind too soon.”