Should Liverpool look to sign West Ham star Alex Song as Gerrard's replacement?

Steven Gerrard In 2014

Liverpool have been linked with a move to sign West Ham midfielder Alex Song as a replacement for the departing Steven Gerrard.

According to Spanish newspaper SPORT, Liverpool could look to beat West Ham United to the signing of Alex Song this summer.

Song, 27, is currently on loan at Upton Park from Barcelona, but SPORT suggest that a bid of €19m would be needed to sign him permanently after he impressed in the first half of the Premier League season.

With Liverpool needing to replace Steven Gerrard at the end of this season as the Reds captain gets ready to embark on his American dream with Los Angeles Galaxy, speculation suggests that Liverpool could look to sign him.

Here, we look at stats from this season to see whether Song would be a good replacement for Gerrard...

Attacking

  PositionTeamAssistsGoalsShotsBig Chances MissedAppearancesMinutes Played
Steven Gerrard MF Liverpool 1 5 33 1 20 1,613
Alexandre Song MF West Ham 0 0 6 0 14 1,111

When it comes to attacking, Song doesn't even come close to the impact Gerrard has. The Liverpool skipper regularly takes free kicks and penalties which certainly helps his goal tally, but he's had almost six times as many attempts on goal as Song, whilst even notching an assist - something Song hasn't done for West Ham yet. As long as the attacking burden can be shared amongst the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana, Song would still be a good option - even if he doesn't contribute that much offensively.

Defending

  PositionTeamBlocksTacklesClearancesInterceptionsFoulsAppearancesMinutes Played
Steven Gerrard MF Liverpool 6 37 45 13 6 20 1,613
Alexandre Song MF West Ham 5 38 8 17 21 14 1,111

Gerrard has widely been played in front of the back four, and that's where Song has played for Arsenal, Barcelona and now West Ham in patches. The stats show that whilst Gerrard has made more blocks and more clearances, Song provides a more robust alternative, with over three times as many fouls, more tackles and more interceptions to help break up play in defensive midfield. From that aspect, Song would add a different, more physical element to Gerrard. 

Passing

  PositionTeamPassesAccurate PassesAccurate Long PassesForward PassesBackward PassesTouchesAppearancesMinutes Played
Steven Gerrard MF Liverpool 1,086 935 122 347 140 1,395 20 1,613
Alexandre Song MF West Ham 650 512 45 281 54 873 14 1,111

One of the areas where Steven Gerrard is famed is in his passing, so when it comes to replacing him, Liverpool need to know that they have somebody who can provide the same accuracy. Song has attempted far fewer passes, and has a completion percentage of just 78% compared to Gerrard's 86% - even if over 10% of Gerrard's passes have been backwards.

Meanwhile, Gerrard's passing range has been famous, and he's hit almost three times as accurate long balls as Song, as well as more forward passes and more touches too.

The conclusion? Song doesn't offer the same passing ability nor goalscoring prowess of Gerrard, but he is more adept defensively and offers a far more physical alternative should they pursue the former Cameroon international.

A like-for-like replacement he may not be, but Song should still be under consideration from the Reds at the end of this season if Rodgers wants to add something different to his midfield as Gerrard moves on.

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