Farewell Song: Bilic’s Midfield Shake-Up Has Left Barcelona Man Out In The Cold

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Latest reports have revealed that West Ham will not be turning the loan deal of Alexandre Song into a permanent one. The Cameroonian international, 28, is currently on a season loan from Spanish giants FC Barcelona but has failed to secure much game time under current boss, Slaven Bilic.

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Song previously had also spent last season on loan at West Ham, under ex-manager Sam Allardyce, where he totalled 28 league appearances. However, an injury early on in the season saw him sidelined for 4 months and he has since struggled for game time resulting in only 12 league appearances, of which he has started just 8.

West Ham did have the option to sign Song permanently and Barcelona were willing to let him leave for free, but negotiations early on in the season were rocky as Song held out for a 3-year permanent deal. Originally, they had intended on signing Song on a permanent deal during the summer but his injury threw talks against the grain and now it appears it may be too late.

Analysis Focus

Alex Song compare

Given Song’s indifferent form, it is difficult to pinpoint his statistics for this season. From what we have seen, there has been a sharp increase on what he produces, particularly in terms of his passing. Admittedly, this could be due to Bilic’s revamp of West Ham and his tactic influence but an admirable increase nonetheless, especially where we see Song producing more total passes per 90 minutes.

At a parallel score of 1.64, he is making just as many interceptions as he did last term and his Total Duels has only slightly dropped by 1.19 per 90 minutes. It can be quite difficult to understand why Bilic does not favour Song the way that Allardyce did.

In comparison, we can see that there is some evidence on Song’s absence. The other candidates are covering better for their defence, which Bilic holds in high regard as part of his game, and the trio of Noble, Kouyate and Obiang contribute to more interceptions and commit less fouls than Song which would have been vital during the early months of the season, in which West Ham were often the more defensive side during a match. Now in April, West Ham have been shocking the nation with some of their results and have switched to a much more attacking style, here is where it has become difficult to fit Song into the style of play.

In summary, Song has not performed poorly on any scale, however, it appears to be a matter of other options providing better than he does. Including his injury, it is probably in the teams best interest to allow Song to head back to Barcelona, especially with the seemingly impending arrival of Havard Nordtveit from Borussia Monchengladbach.


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