If you can't beat them, join them.
In an attempt to improve midfield depth and to solidify the defensive midfielder position Barcelona and Arsenal have agreed for the transfer of Cameroonian midfielder Alex Song. The transfer of Song is worth €19 million and the midfielder will now travel to Barcelona to undergo the medical examination and sign a contract. The contract will tie Song down for five seasons and will include a €80 million buy-out clause. The medical exam is scheduled for Monday and Song will be presented with the rest of the squad at the official presentation at the Gamper Trophy game. Song will hold a press conference on Tuesday.
Despite being only 24 years old (he will turn 25 in September) it appears that Song has been playing for the London based club for a long time. He joined Arsenal in 2005 and had in the last seven season amassed 204 appearances for Arsenal scoring 10 goals and adding 24 assists.
Song often played as the deepest of the three midfielders in Arsene Wenger's formation but the Cameroonian got the reputation for being better offensively than defensively. Song distributes the ball very well but his passing accuracy has been questioned at times (had only a 84% pass success rate last season). He is a hard worker and a tireless runner and has experience at three positions - central midfielder, defensive midfielder and centre-back - so he has the versatility Tito Vilanova has been looking for.
What his role with Barcelona be remains to be seen but one would expect he will be the backup at multiple positions but will only see playing time in the defensive line only as a last resort.
Welcome Alex Song!