Another day passes and another succulent rumour trudges by. But not all of them are easily digested or accepted, and the latest one to be so is Alex Song’s rumored move to Manchester United, who have a frantic need for a creative spark in the midfield.
Since the likes of Tom Cleverley, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher and Marouane Fellaini have seemingly failed to deliver the goods in the heart of the park for the Reds, Juan Mata’s big money move materialized and United struck gold with the Spaniard.
But do United need someone like Alex Song when they are in need of a top-notch holding midfielder who can reduce the burden on Michael Carrick’s shoulders?
The former Arsenal man’s game play is characterised and trademarked by his tireless runs in midfield and good reading of the opposition’s attacks. He plays a central role in breaking up attacks, shielding the ball when in possession and then setting up counterattacks for his teammates.
Playing in a withdrawn role of a three man midfield, Song allows his other teammates in midfield to provide support to the attack and surge forward with more freedom. His passing range has also consistently improved in recent seasons and he has been able to contribute with a number of key passes for his club. He is quite well known for the quality time he spent at Arsenal, but he’s struggled at Barcelona.
United are already being linked with a variety of holding midfielders, including Ilkay Gundogan, and if someone like Alex Song is preferred, he’d be second to Michael Carrick, who has refused to budge from his role in the middle of the park.
While there’s no speck of doubt surrounding his abilities as a holding midfielder, a playmaker, or a box to box midfielder, I believe if United are able to grab him he’ll face a fate similar to the one he’s facing at Barcelona.