Alex Song joins West Ham on loan from Barcelona
West Ham have announced the signing of Barcelona midfielder Alex Song on a season-long loan.
The 26-year-old Cameroon international struggled to hold down a regular place at the Camp Nou following a move from Arsenal in 2012 and returns to the Premier League with the Hammers -- who paraded their new addition to fans ahead of the clash with Southampton.
Clubs throughout Europe were put on alert when it emerged Song would be allowed to leave Barcelona -- with West Ham having won the race to take him to Upton Park on a temporary basis despite reported interest from the likes of Napoli and Galatasaray.
Song said on the club's official website: "I'm very happy to be here and very happy to see the guys and the fans today and to start to do my job for West Ham United.
"I think this is very important for me to be coming back to London to West Ham United, which is a club with ambition to build a new stadium and become a big club. I am very excited to be part of this project.
"For me, when I was in Spain, I always said that if I was to leave one day I would return to the Premier League.
"It was a very hard decision, because when you have options of a lot of clubs who are playing in the Champions League, but at the end of the day I chose West Ham because I wanted to come to the Premier League. This is a league which has given me a lot and I didn't finish what I wanted to achieve here.
"For my family too, it was very important, because my children and my wife wanted to come back to England. This is an opportunity to do that with West Ham and I just took it. I am very happy to be here and very proud to be part of the project at this club."
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce said after his side's loss to Southampton on Saturday: "I hope he [Song] can bring a bit of leadership as well as his quality play. The lads are not opening their mouth enough. They all talk about what they should do before the game in the dressing room and in training, but when they go out on the pitch they don't talk to each other. It is clear that their communication is zero.
"Somebody has got to get a grip and open their mouth. If it is a short corner, get someone out there. It is not difficult for someone to look around and organise the team. It doesn't appear that anyone is analysing what the situation is and not have the desperate defending that we had.
"Having spoken to him [Song] he looks a leader to me and will kick a few backsides on the field. If they are not playing as well as they should do he will get them motivated.''