West Ham United completed their latest piece of summer transfer business on Saturday, announcing that Alex Song would spend the season on loan from Barcelona.
The Cameroon international had been linked with a whole host of Premier League clubs but ultimately he headed to Upton Park.
It is quite a coup for Sam Allardyce and in the latest in our series on the numbers behind a player’s career to date we take a closer look at West Ham’s new arrival.
313 – The number of appearances Song has made in his club career to date. He featured 204 times for Arsenal, 65 times for Barcelona, 32 times for Bastia and 12 times for Charlton Athletic.
11 – The number of club goals he has scored so far. Obviously not signed for his impact in front of goal, the defensive midfielder has still found the net a few times over the years. The new West Ham man scored 10 of those goals for Arsenal, where he became far more of a creative threat.
26 – The number of assists Song has in his club career to date. The now-26-year-old set up an impressive 23 goals during his time in North London. He also set up two goals for Barcelona and one for Charlton.
1 – The number of times Song has been sent off in his club career. This really is an impressive statistic considering the number of games he has played over the years. His temperament may have been one of the reasons West Ham were so keen to bring him to the club.
64 – The number of yellow cards he has clocked up for his various clubs. While that is a tidy sum it is spread over 313 appearances and only once has he collected two bookings in a single match. Allardyce will hope that continues for the season ahead.
Verdict – This really is a win-win deal for West Ham and for Song. The player returns to a country and a league where he previously excelled, while the Hammers are signing a player with plenty to prove and yet with Premier League experience in abundance.
The Cameroon star will want to prove his critics wrong and given that there is no transfer fee involved, and with other clubs reportedly interested, it is a fine piece of business from the London club.