Why Tottenham should have rivalled West Ham for Alex Song this summer

The stats show he was ahead of both Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb in a number of defensive areas last season.

With the furore over the failed move for Saido Berahino this summer, it has been forgotten that Tottenham also missed out on securing a defensive midfielder in the transfer window.

One player they should have targeted was Alexandre Song, after he was deemed surplus to requirements at Barcelona following his successful spell at West Ham last season. He has since returned to Upton Park on loan, with a cheap move looking likely next summer. 

Given that success at the Hammers last season, we compared him with Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb to see how he could have been the answer to Spurs’ defensive midfielder problems.

Primarily the defensive midfielder is in there to protect the defence and recover the ball, and on this regard Song was way ahead of both Bentaleb and Mason, recovering the ball 250 times compared their scores of 168 and 124.

He also came out on top when it come to winning possession in the midfield third, doing this 146 times last season compared to the scores of 95 for Bentaleb and 71 for Mason.

  SeasonPass Success PercentageOutfielder BlockBall RecoveryPoss Won Mid 3rdPoss Won Def 3rdTackle Success Percentage
Ryan Mason 2014-2015 83% 4 124 71 50 72%
Nabil Bentaleb 2014-2015 86% 9 168 95 68 76%
Alexandre Song 2014-2015 76% 7 250 146 97 76%

He enjoyed a similar dominance in winning the ball back in the defensive third as well, with a tally of 97 compared to 68 for Bentaleb and 50 for Mason.

When it comes to tackling he shared a success rate of 76% with Bentaleb, but bettered Mason, whose score was 72%. He also had more outfielder blocks than Mason, although Bentaleb comes out on top in the trio in this regard.

In fact, the only area Song fell short in was his passing, with him having a pass success rate of 76%, which compares poorly to Mason’s tally of 83% and Bentaleb’s score of 86%.

However, it is a clear win for Song in the more defensive aspects, highlighting why Spurs may have been foolish not to challenge West Ham more seriously for his signature this summer.

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