By Declan Taylor

According to Arsène Wenger, the “opinions are changing” about Alex Song.

After making only 20 starts during his first three years at the Club, the 21-year-old established himself as a key member of Wenger’s squad last season, making 48 appearances in all competitions.

Although the manager initially thought Song would be a central defender, the Cameroonian has emerged as a genuine midfield enforcer - the perfect foil for Cesc Fabregas in the Arsenal engine room.

Speaking at Friday’s pre-match press conference, the manager hailed Song’s continued development at the Club in sometimes difficult circumstances.

“I was always confident Song would pop up in this [central midfield] position, or at centre-back,” the manager said.

“I brought him here aged 17 and worked very hard with him, we worked hard because I felt he had the talent to become a good player.

“I know that the opinions are changing about him now.

“He had to swim a little bit against the stream, and he did that very well.”

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21 Aug 2009