Alex Song has been heavily linked with a move away from Barcelona in January, but it should be Arsenal rather than Manchester United chasing his signature.
The Cameroonian international spent six years at the Emirates Stadium, and played regularly when fit under Arsene Wenger.
An opportunity to play for the Blaugrana arised in the summer of 2012, and understandably the 26-year-old was eager to take his chance at the Nou Camp.
Things didn’t work out particularly well under Pep Guardiola however, with Song spending large spells on the bench in Catalonia.
A similar situation has occurred under new boss Gerardo Martino, with the central midfielder playing a bit-part role for the La Liga champions once again this term.
Speculation over a January exit has already begun, with Manchester United manager David Moyes the name most frequently mentioned alongside the player.
It’s easy to see why, with the Red Devils’ soft centre already proving to be a problem at Old Trafford this season, despite the arrival of Marouane Fellaini.
The arrival of Song would seriously strengthen the Premier League champions, which is part of the reason why Arsenal should look into bringing the player back to north London.
Signing someone so they don’t join another team isn’t the only reason to sign a player, of course, and Song has plenty of attributes which the Gunners can utilise.
They know this already, of course, having seen him develop into a top quality player during his first spell with Arsenal.
In a 4-2-3-1 formation, Song is best suited to one of the midfield anchor positions. Arsene Wenger isn’t short of players who can play in this role, with Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey, Jack WIlshere, Abou Diaby and Mathieu Flamini all capable of doing such a job.
However, the later was drafted in as a short-term option, and Diaby’s injury record unfortunately makes him unreliable to play on a regular basis. Both Wilshere and Ramsey have shown their ability to play in the more advanced roles recently, and Arteta isn’t the tough-tackling type who usually sits in the position.
Arsenal have made a great start to the season, and so this potential problem hasn’t been highlighted. But, another injury and Wenger’s side could be seriously stretched in the position.
Song has the advantage of previously playing, and succeeding, in the English top flight. It won’t take him time to settle to the pace of the division - a factor which could be crucial if the club are still challenging at the top of the table in the New Year.
He also knows the staff and plenty of first team regulars at the Emirates, so settling into life off the pitch should also not be a problem.
Then there is the price. Having sold Song for £15million a year-and-a-half before, and the player doing little to improve that valuation, then there shouldn’t be a problem in that department.
Whilst Wenger spent big on Mesut Ozil, he’s renowned for trying to get the best deal possible, and if they could get this player back for less than they sold him, then it’s effectively a no-brainer.
The fact that Manchester United want him as well is a mere bonus, and if the player is on the market in 2014, then Wenger would be foolish not to make his move.
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