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Is Alex Song a suitable replacement for Lucas Leiva?

Former Arsenal midfielder Alex Song could set to make a return to the Premier League, with Merseyside his favoured destination.

According to reports, the Cameroon international has been told by new Barcelona manager Luis Enrique that he has no future at Camp Nou. Song has received offers, but favours a move back to England.

The Barca misfit is currently stalling on a loan move to AC Milan, in the hope a move to Liverpool will materialise. A season-long loan is on the cards, although the Catalan giants would prefer to see him shipped out on a permanent basis.

Song’s arrival at Anfield is likely to signal the end of Lucas Leiva's time with the Anfield outfit. The Brazilian midfielder has enjoyed an impressive seven years at Anfield, despite suffering from a wealth of injuries, since moving from Gremio in 2007.

After an unimpressive performance in Liverpool’s opening day victory over Southampton, the 27-year-old was left out of the squad to face Manchester City on Monday. This has only served to heighten speculation linking him with an exit before the close of the window.

With the Brazilian linked with a move to Italian outfit Napoli, with whom he would re-kindle his relationship with former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez, Song appears his most likely replacement, either on a temporary or permanent deal.

Following two years occupying a bit-part role in La Liga, he would relish the opportunity to establish himself as a first-team player once more.

Song played significantly fewer matches than Lucas last term and this becomes apparent when the duo’s season stats are compared. The figures statistics will draw a mixed reaction as far as Reds fans are concerned.

  TeamPosTotal Att Assist /AppAccurate Pass /AppPass Acc (%)Tackle Won /AppTackle Lost /AppInterception Won /AppOutfielder Block /AppTotal Clearance /AppAppsMins
Alex Song Barcelona MF 0.32 40.63 92 1.68 1.74 1.47 0.11 1.00 19 1134
Lucas Leiva Liverpool MF 0.48 46.93 91 2.37 3.15 1.85 0.33 2.56 27 1,872

Whilst averaging an impressive 92% pass completion rate, the Cameroonian contributed fewer interceptions, blocks and clearances (per app), to his side's league efforts. However, he did lose fewer tackles than his potential predecessor. 

Song's passing, tackling and his reading of the game to make interceptions are among his biggest strengths. He is a proven talent at the top level of English football, playing an average of 38 games a season in his last four years with the Gunners.

He became renowned for his steely work in midfield, protecting, what was at the time, a relatively shaky back four. In his final season at the Emirates he proved particularly influential. 

His lack of game time in Spain has naturally impacted his form, but if he could rediscover his previous level at Anfield, he would prove an extremely valuable asset to Brendan Rodgers' side.

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