Ex-Arsenal man outshines Xavi by recording 100 per cent pass accuracy

Former Arsenal midfielder Alex Song, a reported transfer target for Manchester United, had an impressive game in La Liga at the weekend.

It is fair to say Alex Song's Barcelona experience has not been a storming success, the Cameroonian midfielder as many predicted struggling for a regular starting place.

The 26-year-old made his third La Liga appearance of the season at the weekend, from a possible seven matches, in the 4-1 win over Real Valladolid.

It was a match Barcelona dominated, registering 73 per cent possession - and 21 shots to Valladolid's eight.

This was also without Lionel Messi, while fellow superstar Andres Iniesta was left on the substitute's bench.

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The midfield consisted of Xavi, Cesc Fabregas, and Alex Song - and it is the latter who achieved a feat no Barcelona or any starting player in La Liga has done this season.

Song completed 100 per cent of his passes, 102 of 102, making Xavi's mere 95 per cent ball retention a stat worth mentioning as an afterthought.

His efforts were not ignored by the Spanish media, with newspaper Mundo Deportivo writing: "It is a striking feat because the Cameroonian international's profile is more destructive than calm. However Song can claim to have achieved a record normally reserved for a player like Xavi in Barcelona's game.

"It is a fact creditable to a man whose work was obscured by the spotlight of goals from Alexis, and displays by Neymar and Tello."

Song's future at Barcelona remains in doubt due to his lack of regular game time, but recognition like this can boost his profile and win him favour with his new manager.

If Manchester United, a club said to be monitoring him, needed a reminder of his passing qualities which were highlighted by his excellent link-up with Robin van Persie in his final season at Arsenal, the weekend's game was an excellent showcase for his talent.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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