Robin van Persie, the most sort after striker in the Premier League at the moment. Finally, after arriving at Arsenal some 8 years ago, the Dutchman has played to his full potential. Injury free, may I add.
No-one can argue that he didn’t have a world class season at Arsenal. No-one can argue that some of his goals weren’t magical; his link up play with other players superb and his ability to haul Arsenal out of numerous holes was wonderful to watch. The striker had a wonderful season.
The goal against Everton was a particular favourite of many. The timing to strike the ball and the precision to find the bottom right corner was simply class. Personally, I’m a big believer in giving as much credit to the creator of the goal. The creator of that goal you ask? Alex Song.
Alex Song has had quite a rise to prominence in the Arsenal midfield. Signing for a mere £1million the midfielder has certainly been a bargain. Wenger got this one right, one of the few young players to really step up for Arsenal in the last few years.
Last season showed United’s vulnerability in the middle of the park against the top teams. Against Manchester City, Yaya Toure bullied Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick. Scholes, still a class act but now aged 37, found himself unable to keep up with the Ivorian and his tenacity and dominance over United was a worrying sign for fans and the manager alike.
Whilst the return of Fletcher would bolster the United midfield, which now houses the injury free Anderson and Cleverley, the likelihood of the Scottish captain returning to his former self is unlikely. United are crying out for a midfield enforcer, a player who is able to hold the ball, pick a pass, dominate midfield and defend. United need to replace Scholes. Yes, Cleverley is up and coming and yes, if he stays fit, Anderson has the potential. But Song at 24 years old is young and more importantly, an established Premier League midfielder.
United have made a bid for van Persie in the region of £15million and paper talk suggests that Sir Alex is looking to increase that to a potential £20million. The on-going transfer saga that is Lucas Moura suggests that United have money to spend. So why not spend it on a player reported to be attracting interest from Barcalona and a £20million offer? And why not spend it on areas in the squad that need improving/strengthening.
At £20million, Alex Song is a bargain. Arsenal won’t be willing to let their star midfielder leave to a rival especially with two more years remaining on his current deal. If United tabled a similar offer to the £30million for Moura Arsenal would have to listen.
Song is able to protect the back four and deliver quality passes from deep and further up the pitch when required. The Cameroonian international has the rare ability to allow creative midfielders to play their natural game and trust that the defence is being ‘looked after’. Fabregas would love to have him at Barcelona for that reason alone.
United need to be the vultures. Follow the players Barcelona are interested in. Those players have been left backs and a holding midfielder to replace the departed Seydou Keita. If Barcelona are interested, United should be. Barcelona like their midfielders hard working, holders of the ball and have the ability to thread the needle. Song is every bit of that player.
Sergio Busquets has publically declared that he would add quality to the Barcelona midfield. The Spanish midfielder added, “Song is a very good player - young, a hard worker, with lots of physical power," (ESPN). Whilst many will take Busquets’ opinion with a pinch of salt, one thing Barcelona midfielders know is how good other midfielders are.
If United are to strengthen their squad further, and everything suggests that they will, Sir Alex should look to Song to be that man. Arsenal would seriously have to look at bids in the region of £25-30million.
United need an established midfielder more than they need an up and coming attacking Brazilian valued at £30-40million. If we are to splash the cash this summer, let it be on Song or a player of a similar mould.