How West Ham's Song deal has avoided a complete transfer nightmare

Collins, Song, Jenkinson

The alternatives for West Ham were Joey Barton or Hull City's Tom Huddlestone. A lucky escape indeed...

According to West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan, the club have reached an agreement for Barcelona midfielder Alex Song.

Indeed, Song spent last season on loan at Upton Park and, as the east London club's search for a new midfield man grew more and more desperate, they have seemingly pulled a rabbit out the hat and solved one of their problems (the issue of a new forward still remains).

And quite a solution it has turned out to be. Or rather, a great way to avoid a complete transfer nightmare.

According to reports, Joey Barton (the Daily Mail) and Tom Huddlestone were West Ham's alternatives. As HITC Sport reported yesterday, the Hammers have pulled out of the chase for Hull man Huddlestone.

 Premier League 2014/15 Passing AccuracyTacklesInterceptionsChances CreatedDribblesMinutes Played
Tom Huddlestone 80% 1.58 1.45 0.77 0.35 2,545
Alexandre Song 77% 2.61 1.46 1 1.39 2,249
Joey Barton 73% 1.86 1.64 2 0.61 2,351

As Opta stats show, Song is a better tackler than both and compares reasonably in terms of interceptions. He was a more accurate passer than Barton and a better creator than Huddlestone, while his dribbling trumped both the current free agent and the Hull midfielder.

And the most impressive aspect of it all is that the 27-year-old would have totally gazumped both had he maintained the form he produced during the first half of his West Ham loan.

That, though, is the biggest risk of any Song deal - the fact he simply went missing halfway through the season. But the Sam Allardyce factor could well have come into play there and the Hammers have certainly avoided a transfer nightmare.

Barton, Huddlestone... or a La Liga champion in Song? It took a while - but it was the right call. Now for a striker...

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