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Posted by Francesc Tomas on 08/07/2012

Tito Vilanova bravely accepted the very challenging task of succeeding Pep Guardiola, the most successful manager in over 110 years of FC Barcelona history. His experience as Pep's highly-involved assistant coach means that he doesn't need to waste time getting to know the squad, only recruit the right players to improve the team we already have.

Once left-back Jordi Alba signed his contract with the Camp Nou giants, Tito Vilanova chose Javi Martinez as his next priority as he needed to cover the gap that Seydou Keita left when he decided to swap the chance to win European titles for vast amounts of Chinese money. Athletic Bilbao then valued their young star at an unrealistic €40 million, making it impossible for Barcelona to even make a serious attempt for him. To be honest, Javi Martinez himself hasn't publicly hinted a move away from San Mames anyway so Tito Vilanova is right to look elsewhere - at least for now.

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Thomas Vermaelen, Neven Subotic, Jan Vertonghen, Daniel Agger... The list of candidates for the job is endless and changes on a daily basis. The latest rumors seem to focus on the possibility of Barcelona offering Arsenal around €15 million for Alex Song. The Cameroon international has been known for his versatility, good passing ability and high intensity during his 204 appearances for The Gunners in just 5 seasons.

Sergio Busquets recently explained: "Another player in my position would be welcome. Alex Song is a very good player - young, a hard worker, with lots of physical power." Andres Iniesta also praised Arsenal's 24 year-old, adding: "Technically, Alex Song is a very good player and is also very strong physically too. If he comes to Barcelona would be because he has the qualities to play here and we'd welcome him."

As you know, Barcelona are incredibly proud of our La Masia academy, an unparalleled youth system able to produce players such as Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez or Carles Puyol in recent years. As a result, it's easy to understand that many Blaugrana fans would much rather trust upcoming talents such as Sergi Roberto, Marc Barta or even Jonathan Dos Santos to cover our defensive vacancy rather than splashing unnecessary cash on a player who would need to adapt to the Barcelona system and may turn out to be worse than the youngsters which we already have here anyway.

While I am incredibly pleased with the fact that our Barcelona first team is constantly refreshed by the arrival of fresh La Masia blood, the truth is an all-Catalan squad would struggle to compete at the highest European level with the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United or Chelsea. Football is a global sport and, as such, it is impossible to know whether the next big player will be Brazilian, Korean or Indonesian.

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Johan Cruyff's iconic Dream Team in the early 1990s was built around world-class signings (Hristo Stoichkov, Ronald Koeman, Romario) and completed with the best Spanish players of that era. As a firm follower of the Dutch Master's philosophy, Tito Vilanova is fully aware that foreign players are essential to add an extra dimension to his squad.

Would Barcelona have achieved their recent success without Dani Alves, Eric Abidal or Javier Mascherano? Of course not. What's more: Without their influence, players such as Martín Montoya, Gerard Piqué or Sergio Busquets wouldn't have developed into what they are today.

Barcelona must make use of the €26 million that we reportedly have left in our budget and give Tito Vilanova the defensive-minded player he asked for. Since his debut as coach, the board always granted Pep Guardiola all of his transfer wishes - whether they were proven stars such as Cesc Fabregas or unknown experiments such as Dmytro Chygrynskiy.

Tito Vilanova must be given the same respect and support his predecessor had if we want Barcelona to continue to be as successful as we have been in recent seasons.

Is Alex Song the right man for Barcelona this summer? Well, if that is what Tito Vilanova believes, then let the negotiations begin!

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Have your say 

What did you think of this article?

Do you feel Alex Song is the signing Barcelona need to replace Seydou Keita?

Should Barcelona consider signing other defenders this summer?

Would you trust La Masia youngsters Marc Bartra or Sergi Roberto instead of signing anybody this summer?

Did I miss out on any important points you would like to share with us?

I welcome and appreciate all respectful feedback.

Força Barça!!

Posted by: Francesc Tomàs.
Founder and columnist at www.barcablog.com

Join our 28,200 followers on Facebook or Twitter

Comments

Posted by nick on 08/08/2012

Fortunately Alex Song is contracted to Arsenal until 2015 so even though your club never seem to respect such minor things as contracts keep your mucky paws off another Arsenal developed player.

@FTomas replied: Thanks for taking your time to comment. If there is someone who knows a lot about contracts, that surely is Arsene Wenger. He really knows how to buy snatch players on the cheap doesn't he? I mean, how much did Arsenal pay Barcelona for La Masia players such as Cesc Fabregas, Hector Bellerin, Jon Miguel Toral Harper, Ignasi Miquel or Fran Merida? That's right: ZERO. And another point: Whenever Barcelona have signed any of your "Arsenal developed players", it has been because both your player and your club have decided to accept our offer.

Posted by nafieu jalloh on 08/08/2012

yes song will be a good signing.if arsenal want affelay or tello we should accepted .so the deal will be cash 'plus player or if not we should pay for song.

Posted by Guns Blazing on 08/08/2012

Absolutely not. Alex Song is terrible and I promise you don't want him anywhere near your team. Seriously, do not sign this guy.

Sincerely,

An Arsenal Fan

Posted by JG on 08/08/2012

It all depends what Barca want and how they want to play the game. Song is a conundrum at Arsenal in the way that he is a bit of a double edged sword at times. His long passing is very good and he is a good tackler but he rarely stays back which is why Arteta had to babysit his position all last season - making their formation a 4-2-1-3.

Song's biggest fault is his inability to read the game properly leaving huge gaps between the back four and the midfield. But I feel if these problems are rectified he will be a great addition to any team.

Posted by barcafan on 08/08/2012

No Alex Song is too slow and lacking agility and intelligence in his play.Strong yes- but it would take him years to adapt to Barcelona's fluid yet disciplined style. It would be money down the drain. Why on earth do we need an inferior version of Mascerano?

Posted by akin adetiba on 08/08/2012

arsenal shld keep Alex.our best player,wenger money is nt evertin

Posted by ibrahim wali tbw on 08/08/2012

no we dnt need to sign any more midfeilder since we have sergio bosquets and javier macherano on that place. they should sign atleast 1 experience central defender. coz puyol is gttn older nd strugling 4 d fit.

Posted by Bunburyist on 08/08/2012

This is the latest in a long line of Arsenal players poached by Barcelona, the most disgracefully public courting of whom was Cesc Fabregas. In terms of respect, Barcelona's players have none for other clubs or professionals. Even Cruyff got in on the Fabregas saga last summer, opening his mouth to join the chorus of Barca folks going on about Catalan DNA. It was embarrassing, and it looks like the current mouthing off by Busquets is part of the same despicable strategy. Barcelona may play beautiful football, but they have ugly character.

Posted by DAVO on 08/08/2012

When Barca played Arsenal, the only Arsenal player who worried me was Song. Would be a fantastic signing (much better than Martinez at half the price). Mobile, strong, good vision, lovely passer. Yes, yes, yes.

Posted by charlse on 08/08/2012

signing a cb lyk agger or colocini is the best tin dat wil hapen 2 barca to fight back dis season

Posted by YawZz on 08/08/2012

Why in a hell would he want go and replace keita when play most of his games on the bench? he'll destroy his career if he moves. Keita left because he did not get enough games!

Posted by Elvys. on 08/08/2012

Why can't Mascherano replace Keita?

Posted by slai on 08/08/2012


Alex song is d right man 2 replace keita,bcos of his experience nd acurate passes infact is more better than javi matinence bcos his strong nd experience he can also play centre back nd defence midfield 4 us.song wil b a great sining 4 bacca or vermallen.
Marc batra,sergio roberto nd santos are inexperience players, we need
player dat wil giv us result immediately lik song, vamallen or javi matinence

Posted by maina alhabib on 08/08/2012

As a barcelona fans we need to be ready to build the team as heavier as before and also with the presence of defenders such as marc bartra and sergi roberto we still need a defender in case of injury like earlier stated 'alex song'.

Posted by jude on 08/08/2012

When seeking players, go where such players have been put up for sale and put the arrogance in check! Song is an integral member of a prestigious club with history. The arrogance of this notion is equivalent to some club bidding for messi or iniesta. Get a grip or lose credence! Cheers

Posted by Sanjay tayal on 08/08/2012

If Barca are hell bent on splurging 15M euroes..let that be on an good if not exceptional CB...A CB will be in a position to free Masherano for defensive Midfielder duty if required and will actually get some playing time unlike Song!Toure Yaya didn`t get enough opportunities with Busquets on Song!!!!Barca could also wait for the winter transfer window as the business end of the season would require some value addition...save some money for now ...the same could be a part of the second installement for Neymar....

Posted by Amber on 08/08/2012

Song for keita is possible,but barca neèds one center back and one elite attaker like neymar. That's enough to be the worlds best.

Posted by Drago on 08/08/2012

I agree that we cannot have an all La Masia squad if we want to compete at the highest level. Imports will always be needed but they have to be top quality. However, the activities of Man City in previous seasons and PSG this pre-season have grossly inflated the prices of players in the transfer market. I am not sure that that Song, while a very good player, represents value for money. A quality central defender is the more pressing need.

Masche and Sergi Roberto can cover Busquets plus Bartra is a good defensive prospect. I would have loved us to have signed Thiago Silva or Javi Martinez but I not so sure about the names currently being bandied about.

Posted by natty on 08/08/2012

If Barca have Masherano why would they sign Song? Remember Flamini, what happened to him? Song is a good player, but this kind of signing will not worry Real Madrid.

Posted by Philimon markus on 08/08/2012

Alex song wil b a better signing 4 barca than javier matinez

Posted by kurds on 08/08/2012

i believe alex song would be a great signing.i totaly agree that barca should sign a couple of cb cause our defence has gotten abit aged with puyol being in and out picque is still in the mix good signin alba at lb.the more we can have players in debth the better it it for us as a unit and finally we should really try to snap up neymar he is a sensational player we need to lighten the burden on leo

Posted by Idris Tasiu Abbas Funtua on 08/08/2012

Basquets nd marcherano önly pit for d position we only need central back like bonucci nd hummels to replace puyol bcos he's gettn old

Posted by Barca on 08/08/2012

No we need a central defender and not a CDM

Posted by babou mbye on 08/08/2012

ever since i start watching football barca has been my team i love the way they play the ball. and for Alex i think barca cannot have a better signing he is good with the ball and with the physical presence which is really needed in the team will be a big boost in midfield.............

Posted by Dean Hewitt on 08/08/2012

Barca need a top draw cb like hummels, song wud be a gud signing,i wud go for vermalen can play cb or dm wud b fantastic signing.

Posted by coolman on 08/08/2012

I support barca to signing alex son because of his physical presense beter than sergio

Posted by jason king on 08/08/2012

barca must find a solid defender..not a cdm..pleased dont sign song..song are worthless for barca..barca must sign a player like vidic or maybe vertonghen..it was a perfect person to take puyol place..

Posted by Anonymous on 08/08/2012

I agree with Drago. .we need a center back and Neymar . .jordi was a great move. .song can also be a good move. .his type of footbal is mre like Keita's. .plus song can adapt to our footbal because Arsenal play a similar type of footbal like us. . .Thiago silva would be also a perfect move us . .his skil and ability is exctly wat we need. . .we lacking a bit in defence because Captain is geting old. .we dnt have that commandr who settles thngs dwn. .Pique is a good playa and he nids to be leadr of our defence line. .mascherano is ok but a bit slopy at times. .Dani perfect. .up front we need one mre electrified player lyk Neymar. .special abilities lyk Messi. .Alexis ,Pedro and David are all good. .but dont you think the reason why Chelsea won last time was because we where not that clever to break them. .and not that fast wen attacking. .same as Madrid .they won cause we lacked one or two things. .thats upfront and back line'

Posted by Jay on 08/08/2012

I just feel like it would be an impulse buy if FCB decided to acquire Song. Just because we have a need to fill the void after Keita left for China doesn't mean we need to spend the 26mil on anyone. See how Sergi Roberto does against Man U today and throughout the rest of the preseason. Don't spend money and have it turn out to be like the Chygrynsky incident.. Be smart. Use your resources at La Masia first.. then I wouldnt spend more than 10-15mil on a player who has experience but who would be an asset to FCB and not some seasoned diva.

Honestly though.. save the money for a BIG buy (Neymar or another attacking threat) and just use a Barca B player in replace of Keita for now.

Posted by Gerald on 08/09/2012

Yes! Alex Song is the perfect player with busquet in defensive mid field this season for barca. Despite that, Unless the keeper Valdes thank you.Ofcorse You don't have to spend the total 25 million on Song but, At least 15-16 million is okay for him cause he has the experience and the ability of the Game than Sergio Roberto and Marc Bartra for now. I think we should go for him.

Posted by Hammed on 08/09/2012

Tito Vilanova's request for Song means that he is not a good coach.Why?Pep Gardiola became the most succesful Barca coach in 110 years because he was able to introduce new Barca talents.Though he bought Fabregas but, Fabregas was once a versatile Barca player.All other players that Pep bought did not have reasonable impact in the team.Song cannot play reasonably without slowing his ball.Do Barca need sluggish palyer like Song?

Posted by Mahesh on 08/09/2012

I also agree that Song is an unnecessary investment at this juncture of time for Barca...
We should be concentrating on buying a experienced CB first who can fill in for Puyol in the near future...
Even if Mascherano is considered for filling in for Puyol in the future, a role he has gracefully accepted and has proven himself in that position, we still do have talent coming in from the Masia that can be nurtured for the CDM position...
I guess saving that money for future buys or clearing off the loans would be a better option...

Posted by ikudai-ssi on 08/10/2012

barca need a player that can play in the defensive midfield & also very good in central defence,the likes of yaya toure.and if alex song can fit in that position why can't we go for him.

Posted by Dean Ludlow on 08/10/2012

Defensive midfield is not Barcelonas priority, you needed to strengthen left back, by signing alba didn't have a good season last season but done well at euros. Signing a new centre back puyol is 34 xavi is 32 iniesta is 28 villa is 31 need to focus on ready made talents on them guys as they will be past their peak which is why real Madrid are taking over. Barcelonas been together a long time but need to introduce more youth talent there more to signing new players. Btw a lot of people are mentioning players who have signed new contracts or new clubs. Raise established players as they have been doing and theyll be fine, real Madrid are just that bit better at the moment. Song is a good player versatile but you have mascherano and busquets who are both better, so you don't need him as much as arsenal I think it's more of a feud as arsenal poach your youth team like you poach their first team

Posted by Jamo9ice on 08/10/2012

Barca did not song, we need central back replacement 4 puyol. Y martinez n song 4 nw we need sum1 lik david liuz.

Posted by kanu on 08/10/2012

Tito Vilanova should go for chealsea David Luiz...please get that guy for us. He is good.

Posted by Mike on 08/10/2012

Actually, in each of the "snatching" cases you mentioned, Arsenal did have to pay fees due to the players' young ages. Also, there is a big difference between quietly approaching a young player who is out of contract and offering them more playing time at another club, and having your entire team give interviews tapping up one of Arsenal's stars.

Face it: Barca is a bully in the transfer market, and a cheap one at that. If Song decides to join them, he will no doubt sit on the bench and waste whatever talent Wenger has cultured in him.

What was it that Alex Hleb said? Leaving Arsenal for Barcelona was the biggest mistake of his life.

Posted by FIDEL on 08/10/2012

Song is a great player and will fit well with Barca.Critics forgot that Song can play as a central back as well.He is physically gifted and led a Mid Level team like Arsenal in assist last year.Also there is a lot of similarity in playing stile between Barca and Arsenal so that will not be a problem. Barca should have signed OM central back Nicolas Nkoulou who is 22 years old and is a world class to be Central Back. In all Song is a good signing.

Posted by omini tyrese on 08/10/2012

song, may b gud but he wuld need enough time to adapt barca's style of play which is d more reason tito should forget about song nd use d available ones lyk sergi, mascherano

Posted by jesse waziri on 08/10/2012

Barca need somebody like song,in our central back we need to make our central back strong,take a look at chelsea defence it hard to brake in that is what barcer need now. We need to make the central back solid please let's lern from our mistake barca 4life

Posted by Benjamin on 08/10/2012

Song is good paryer and he is young talanted for the team and can replace puyol in the defand he is good for barca

Posted by gunduma on 08/10/2012

I hv read so many comment, but pls & pls we need central back defender,bcs puyol getting old, If posible dani ager.& also if posible one striker (neymar).

Posted by Kagiso on 08/10/2012

I definetly think that Alex Song would be the preffered replacement for Seydou, but the La Masia can never achieve their objectives by only using players from their academy. However I think it is indeneable that La Masia does really produce quality players.

Posted by Adam Evans on 08/10/2012

With busquets and mascherano both in the barca squad, there really isnt much need for Song (although he's better than both Busquets and Mascherano). It seems like Barcelona are only interested because they know Arsenal are pushovers when it comes to selling (im allowed to say this, im an avid Gooner, we really are pushovers e.g Henry 16m to Barca,Fabregas 30m Barca, Clichy 7m to City. Another club standing firm could have squeezed alot more from these clubs i'd say especially when you read things like Bents 24m move to Villa). Barcelona really don't respect Arsenal it seems and its any excuse to upset the waters at the Emirates.

Posted by yo fontana on 08/11/2012

barca players like
# eto o # toure # keita # abidal . . .
instinctivly I*d say yeah to a transfer of a.song
but he should be truely & cordially willing that.
he*ll def. be a strong 1 -if he pays the needed attention 2 be in gear 4 the blue & red squad

Posted by ziyad alam on 08/11/2012

Song is the missing piece in our backline. His abilities are unique and exactly what we are missing. We need someone strong, powerful, physical while at the same time he should be able to play the game like barca.. That would be song. We need someone at the back who can mix things up, puts off players with his aggression n attitude, someone with a bit thuggish, intimidating and frightening. Some one like Pepe... That would be Song.... Someone who can play in the back and defensive midfield..That would be Song.. To be honest I think Song can play anywhere in the outfield..He his physical, great passer n i have seen him score some unbelievable goals...So YES bring him on!! He is a much better player than silva or martinez and exactly what we need...And at 20m and given his age... haha its daylight robbry.

Posted by Adegun kazeem on 08/11/2012

I want barcelona 2 Sing alxe song is a good player

Posted by Shaun on 08/11/2012

The sooner UEFA starts to get tough on teams like Barca what with their constant unsettling of players the better.Every year its the same,they trot out Inesta or Pique to say how they would welcome such and such to the club then the manager or directors proceed to do transfer talks through the media.

Its blatant tapping up.Pretty football,ugly club.

Posted by dereje on 08/12/2012

song isn't d right player.bette sing cd like compony if u can.live alone arsenal.

Posted by Kabir on 08/12/2012

Who can stop lionel messi

Posted by Guzman on 08/12/2012

give song some time and he will adjust to barcelonas game play.and yes i agree,song will be a good fit far barca.

Posted by Stenburgen Ruwa on 08/13/2012

I have gone through all he comments given above. In my own view it seems like everyone seem to be basing their argument on emotional grounds.

Looking back at the Barcelona that was inherited by Pep Guadiola from Richcard back in 2008, i mean the one that took every possible cup up for grab that entire season had a perfect squad. Surprisingly the same coach was responsible for amalgamating an existing perfect squad was the same coach responsible for destructing it.

At times I ask my self why players like Yaya Toure, Eto had to be sold for no apparent genuine reason. This are players who left the club while they were still at their paramount.

Am so sure Tito is a smart guy who has seen the mistakes made by his predecessor, instead he should try to walk on those mistakes. In my opinion signing Song will not be a bad move since to gauge the skills or abilities of a good defender its one who is in a position to stop Messi. Song proved this most times when Barca played against Arsenal.

Posted by daniel on 08/15/2012

well first of all barcelona should not buy song. They should develope on the youngsters like they did with Messi.Second of all they should sell Affelay and buy a promising forward to help Messi out.Someone like Neymar, Aguero, David Silva,Fernando Torres or Mata.

Posted by Abba on 08/17/2012

Song is good for Barca. Whatever u may think, judge players by their performance nt where they come from. The most succesful Barca team has Abidal, Alves and mascherano. The team had yaya toure, eto'o and keita. Lets giv Song a chance if he comes

Posted by Anonymous on 08/17/2012

My name is aliyu dumbulun all that barcelona needs is to look for a better deffence especially centeral like 5 and 6 after the sign of arsenal talented midfielder alex song!

Posted by gozie on 08/18/2012

It all depends on the plan Tito has as the new coach, Alex song will match with barca style of play. He is very stronge and has the ability to give accurate passes after defending which is what barca really wants. All he needs is to learn more from barca institution and also from the old boys like messi, xavi, puyol, busquet and so on.

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About
Francesc Tomas Hola! I am Francesc Tomas. Barcelona is my passion and home-town team. I consider myself lucky to have regularly attended matches at the Camp Nou since the early 1980s. My cousin played for the Barça youth academy, sharing the team with Don Andres Iniesta, which gave me a clear inside view of how our club works behind the scenes. I am also the founder, editor and columnist at Barcablog.com.

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