Alex Song left the Gunners last summer in order to complete a ‘dream’ move to Barcelona for £15 million, but has been unable to impress at the Nou Camp. In fact, Song was voted as the second worst signing of the season in La Liga in December, behind Madrid’s Luka Modric.
Song moved to Arsenal in 2005 from Bastia and was initially just a fringe player, going out on loan to several teams. However, he broke into the first team squad during the 2008-09 pre-season and remained as the Gunner’s first choice defensive midfielder until he left, racking up 200 appearances in the process as he became a fixture in the Arsenal team delivering numerous top notch performances.
Song established himself as one of the best defensive midfielders in the premier league, with his intelligent reading of the game enabling him to effectively shield the back four, and his uncanny ability to pick out the killer pass. In his last season with Arsenal, he contributed a total of 11 assists in 34 Premier League appearances.
But it was never going to be easy to break into the Barcelona first eleven and just like Mascherano who joined Barca as a holding midfielder from a Premier League club, Song was deployed in the unfamiliar centre back role, away from his preferred midfield role when first started playing for Barca. He has been a bit part player for Vilanova and even assistant manager Jordi Roura has not given him much playing time, with the 25-year-old making just three appearances since the turn of the year.
According to reports in Spain, the Cameroon international is ready to quit Barcelona and may be willing to come back Arsenal for a second spell.
Wenger has never truly replaced Song, as he selects the creative-minded Arteta in the holding midfield role these days which is not the answer. He is known to be in the market for a defensive midfielder and is reportedly eyeing Feyenoord’s Jordi Clasie.
The sale of Song last season was pretty sudden and it is believed that Wenger was unsatisfied with the player’s attitude and performance during pre-season. Wenger believes Song showed poor commitment and hence decided to sell him off. But the Frenchman may be willing to accept his former player if Song can convince Wenger that he’s changed his ways.
For Song, he is living his dream move, even though he may have not had warming the bench in mind, and if he does decide to leave in search of regular first team football, it could very well be back at the place where he made his name.
And If Wenger does indeed decide to bring Song back, he would have to contemplate engaging in a possible bidding war with moneybags PSG, who are also closely monitoring the situation. Both clubs have the necessary finances to do a deal, but Arsenal would seem the most likely choice for Song.