Newcastle’s Ben Arfa could find himself back at the club he started at back in 2002, after he graduated from the French Clairfontaine Academy and joined Lyon, but if he is to do that he would need to take a cut in wages.
Ben Arfa – such a talented player
Lyon President Jean Michel-Aulas has been talking about possibly taking Ben Arfa back to Lyon and he had this to say in the French press this week:
”If he is willing to make the financial sacrifice that would allow him to return, then we would have him.”
“Technically he is one of the, if not the best player that I have had in 27 years as President.”
”Hatem may have been difficult in terms of managing him, but he is a boy with a very good record.”
Hatem Ben Arfa’s agent Michel Ouazine has spoken of the possibility of the Newcastle midfielder returning to Lyon in an interview this week with French website Foot Mercato, – here’s some of what he said:
“It is an idea which is the subject of discussion with Hatem” “We have talked about Lyon and their super project. Contrary to what people believe, Lyon is not a club in demise but a project which is in line with that of Arsenal.”
“Hatem has told me that it is the club of his heart because he has a great relationship with Bernard Lacombe and an enormous amount of respect for President Aulas. Who doesn’t dream about coming back to the club where it all began.”
“It is a bit like a child going back home. With the great stadium project, there is something positive that can be done there. The group is young and Hatem is a competitor, enormously so.”
Ben Arfa has some great skills, and while at Newcastle he scored two of the best individual goals ever seen at St. James’ Park in 2012, against Blackburn in the FA Cup in January and against Bolton in the league in April.
But as we all know one of his Achilles heels is his inability to work hard and his inability to get on with his manager, and that happened at Marseilles with Didier Deschamps back in 2010, and it happened earlier this year with Alan Pardew.
It doesn’t look as though that rift can be healed with Pardew, and we’re sure Newcastle will be trying to use Ben Arfa as bait to get either Clement Grenier to Newcastle, or more likely to get striker Alexandre Lacazette on board, probably towards the end of the transfer window.
It’s just a pity that Ben Arfa’s temperament does not match his talents, which are as good as Lionel Messi of Barcelona – but he just hasn’t got the work ethic of the Argentine – and he has a name for being difficult to manage.
It means he will probably end his career in a few years time without having reached his full potential, and that would be very sad.
But we also have a feeling that Ben Arfa will not take a wage cut to move out this summer – either on loan or permanently – and will want to become a free agent next summer.
We’ll see what happens in the 26 days left in this transfer window, because it looks like Newcastle want to move Ben Arfa out – one way or another.
To end on a positive note, here’s that goal against Blackburn, and notice the four defenders around him when he finally slams the ball home:
And here’s the goal against Bolton three months later:
Such fantastic talent – gone to waste?
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