Song praise for Wenger's Olympic faith
Midfielder Alexandre Song has vowed to repay Arsene Wenger's faith in him by returning from the Olympics next month determined to cement his place in the Arsenal starting line-up.
After joining the Gunners from Bastia in 2005 Song found first-team chances limited in his first two seasons at the Emirates Stadium and was sent out on loan to Charlton at the start of 2007.
However, the 20-year-old impressed during Arsenal's Carling Cup run last season before starting their last five Premier League games of the season, during which Wenger's side won four and lost just once.
Song's decision to play for Cameroon at the Olympics in China next month means he will miss the start of the season for Arsenal.
But, having sought and gained Wenger's permission to represent his country, Song has promised to come back to England even stronger than ever.
'I talked to the boss and told him that my country wanted me to play and he told me that if I want to go I can as long as I come back to Arsenal and show him what I can do,' he said.
'Arsenal have a young team and some very good players and when I get back I just need to stay fit and do all I can to get a chance of playing for the first team.
'I want to do well at the Olympics and at Arsenal and I need to perform the best I can.
'My career is very important and I want to play well and show people what I can do.'
Cameroon are hoping to repeat the success they enjoyed at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 when they won gold after defeating favourites Spain.
In order to ensure they are fully acclimatised to the oppressive humidity in China, Cameroon are taking part in the ING Cup in Hong Kong this week along with fellow Olympic hopefuls Holland, United States and Ivory Coast.
And though Song admits he would love to help his country to another Olympic gold he is equally keen on Premier League glory with Arsenal this season.
'I want to win something and winning a gold medal at the Olympics would be very important,' he added.
'But I don't have a preference, ideally I would like to win gold and the Premier League with Arsenal.'