One to Watch - Alex Song
Name: Alex Song
Date of Birth: 9/9/1987
Former Clubs: Bastia, Charlton
League Appearances (Goals): 172 (7)
International Appearances (Goals): 29 (0)
Stat of the Day: Alex Song has made more tackles than any other player in the Champions League this season
Whilst Robin van Persie has been scoring goals like there`s no tomorrow and quite rightly grabbing the twitter headlines, one player`s contributions that haven`t slipped under the radar at Vital QPR are that of Alex Song. The Cameroon international has been the stand out performer in a newly shaped Arsenal midfield and is finally flourishing into one of the best central midfielders in the Premier League. Brought into Arsenal at a time when Arsene Wenger was assembling his own nursery in the hope that one day his 'little ones` would become title challengers, Song has slowly but surely silenced his critics and has prospered where so many others have failed.
No one has benefited more from the arrival of Mikel Arteta at Arsenal than Alex Song; the 24-year-old`s 10 assists, tenacious forward runs and powerful playing style has quickly assuaged any lingering doubts over the midfielders ability to perform as anything but just a 'defensive midfielder`. Arteta has formed the base of Arsenal`s new three man midfield, and his selflessness and defensive discipline has seen Song swiftly establish himself as a box-to-box midfielder; earning him comparisons with the much adored Patrick Viera. Much has been made of Wenger`s propensity to purchase small 'ball-players`, yet the Frenchman is revelling in his own loyalty to Song, as week by week the 6 foot tall monster is earning new admirers and playing an instrumental part in Arsenal`s push for third place. Djibril Cisse starts his four match ban on Saturday, so it will be Song who takes the award for 'flash footballer with the ridiculous hair`; regardless the Cameroonian will be at the heart of everything good about Arsenal.
The nephew of Cameroon legend Rigobert Song, Alexandre Song joined the Bastia youth system in France in 2003 and a season later was playing in the first team, attracting attention from a host of clubs including Manchester United, Arsenal and Lyon.
He impressed Arsene Wenger on a trial at Arsenal and signed on loan for the second half of the 2005/06 season, having made 32 appearances for Bastia. Arsenal made the deal permanent the following season signing Song for £1 million on a four year contract. The midfielder spent the back end of the 2006/2007 season on loan at Charlton, and despite impressing couldn`t prevent their relegation.
The 2008/2009 was Song`s breakthrough season as the 21-year-old established himself as a key member of Arsene Wenger`s squad. He initially struggled to impress the Arsenal fans as inconsistent performances and injuries prevented him from having a long run in the team. The Cameroonian has since developed in leaps and bounds as he already has 130 league appearances to his name, with more to surely come.