Who Can Replace On Song Alex?

The rise to prominance of Arsenal’s midfield enforcer Alexandre Song, by his own admission, has not been the smoothest of rides.

An unearthed gem, Arsene Wenger plucked the combative Cameroon international from Italian side Bastia at the age of 18, in a cut price move typical of the Frenchman’s transfer dealings which have seen talented fledglings such as Patrick Vieira and Nicolas Anelka evolve into pivotal members of World Cup winning sides.

After starting life in London as a bit-part player, usually making cameos from the bench, Song was given a run in the Carling Cup during the 06/07 season – often the birthplace for many of Wengers future stars. It was during this run that he began to show the fans glimpses of what he could offer in the future, playing at centre half and scoring during the famous 6-3 victory over Liverpool at Anfield.

Despite his maiden strike, though, Song’s endeavours were overshadowed by the ability for his form to be erratic and was occasionally subjected to harsh criticism from the stands. He was subsequently farmed out on loan to strugglers Charlton Athletic, where Wenger believed the young powerhouse could gain experience from a relegation dogfight that could prove to be vital in turning his fortunes around.

 Following another season spent on the cusp of the first team, the 22-year old was finally given his big chance during the 08/09 season. The departures of Mathieu Flamini and Gilberto Silva left a huge void in the middle of the park which Song duly filled, and almost 18-months on, Arsenal fans are now wondering just how they’ll cope without him as he takes his place in the Cameroon side for the African Cup of Nations in Angola.

Wenger’s insists that his faith in his starlet never wained, and rewarded him with a contract running until 2015 as a result of his application and attitude.

But just who will fill the void left by Song?

ABOU DIABY

Frenchman Diaby is certainly in-form, as his cameo against West Ham on Sunday proved, but Wenger will be wary about his lanky countryman’s desire to stray forward into attacking third of the field, thus contradicting the role that Song has vacated. A powerful candidate that knows how to tackle, Diaby would offer just as much risk as he does reward.

DENILSON

The former Sao Paulo midfielder plays with an industrious streak just as Song, and has certainly taken huge strides forward in his own young career, and often operates defensively despite adding goals to his game this season. Although he has been plagued by back problems this season, the Brazilian would offer the most likely solution.

SAMIR NASRI

The least likely candidate for the job, but emerged from the bench as a holding midfielder during a shakey 1-0 victory over Bolton at the Emirates last season. Nasri certainly proved that he has the aptitude to occupy this sort of role on either an interim or permanent basis, but Wenger is wary of sacrificing his best attacking assets on a vacancy with a defensive style to it, although he may be forced to look to the Frenchman if Denilson’s back problems persist.

“I do not say that he could not,” said Wenger.  ”Samir is very tactically astute, but he is attracted forwards. He loves the offensive game”

 All will be revealed on Wednesday night when the Gunners can move into second place and to within a point of  leadersChelsea, taking on Bolton Wanderers who could have Owen Coyle installed as manager by match day.

One Response to “Who Can Replace On Song Alex?”

  1. Matt Jones Says:

    DIABY!!!

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