Going for a Song: Hammers loan in Barca and Cameroon midfielder
West Ham United have signed Cameroon international, Barcelona and former Arsenal midfielder Alex Song on a season-long loan to further bolster Sam Allardyce’s squad.
Song, 26, was sent off when playing for his country at the recent World Cup in Brazil, but has a combative as well as creative reputation. Barca signed him for £15m from the Gunners in the summer of 2012 after the player was a surprise source of assists at the Emirates.
Returning to London after just seasons in Catalonia, Song struggled to get past established homegrown Nou Camp stars and was not part of new Barcelona boss Luis Enrique’s plans. He made just 39 outings in La Liga.
Landing Song is something of a coup for the Hammers as elite teams from around Europe, reportedly including Manchester United and Liverpool, were linked with his signature this summer. He was introduced to fans prior to their home game against Southampton.
“I need some games to be ready and get my fitness back,” Song said. “When I am 100 per cent, I will bring the experience and I will make the fans happy, I am sure.
“I am lucky to be back in London, back in England and with West Ham. I am looking forward to showing everyone what I can do. West Ham is looking to be a very, very big club in the future. The club has a great project and it is a very big project with very big ambition.”
Song played over 200 times for Arsenal in all competitions, and had a loan spell at Charlton Athletic when they were last in the Premier League. At West Ham, he will compete with summer signings Diego Poyet and Cheikhou Kouyate, club stalwart Mark Noble and Mohamed Diame for a place in Allardyce’s engine room.
Big Sam has been given the brief of a top 10 finish by the Hammers board, and to achieve it by playing more attractive, attacking football.