Alex Song is a midfielder for Cameroon national side and Arsenal in the English Premier League. He specialises in breaking up and intercepting the opposition’s play, and then passing the ball to his more creative midfield partners to build attacks. He is also comfortable at centre-back.
Alex Song was born on 9th April 1987 in Douala, Cameroon. As a child he watched with interest as his uncle, Rigobert Song, led Cameroon into France 98 and excelled at West Ham United and Liverpool. Alex began his football career with small French club Bastia, and progressed through their youth system ahead of signing professional forms in June 2004.
He made his first team debut for Bastia in 2004/05, and made enough of an impact playing wide on the right-hand side of defence that he started attracting the attention of the big French clubs and the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal. It was Arsene Wenger’s perseverance that led Song to Arsenal – with the Arsenal manager inviting Song to a trial in Austria with the first-team, and then a year on loan in London.
Song played just three games in his first season on loan at Arsenal, but suitably impressed Arsene Wenger enough for the Frenchman to offer Bastia the £1m needed to make the deal permanent in June 2006. Wenger realised that Song needed match experience, so sent him on loan to Charlton Athletic, where he earned himself a reputation as a fierce centre-half.
He has started to command a regular place in the first team squad (though admittedly normally on the bench) on his return to Arsenal, and is one of Wenger’s favoured options to become the central midfield partner to Cesc Fabregas.
Song was called up to the French U16 squad, but opted to play for Cameroon, the country of his birth, at U17 level and onwards. He received his first international cap in the African Cup of Nations 2008, when he joined the field as a substitute. He made himself a fixture in the team in the later rounds and was named in tournaments Best XI.