‘I am sad for Hatem Ben Arfa and I think he is sad too’
The most famous ‘victim’ of the three clubs in a season rule was Hatem Ben Arfa.
Loaned out to Hull in the first half of the 2014/15 season, when he was ditched by Steve Bruce, the French winger found himself banned from football for the second half of the campaign.
The rules say you can’t play for three different clubs in a season and rather harshly, playing for Newcastle reserves was deemed as qualifying for that, despite Hatem Ben Arfa appealing against the decision.
He had a move to Nice lined up but that then had to be postponed as he kicked his heels for over six months.
Hatem Ben Arfa eventually joined up with Nice in Summer 2015 on a one year deal.
He transformed them from a mid-table team going nowhere, into one competing at the top.
The former Newcastle winger scored a superb 17 goals in only 33 Ligue 1 starts, helping Nice qualify for Europe in fourth place, only two points off being runners-up in the league to PSG.
With a lot of talk of Barcelona, instead Hatem Ben Arfa ‘followed his heart’ and joined PSG as a free agent in Summer 2016.
Used almost exclusively as a substitute by PSG last season, Hatem only started five Ligue 1 matches.
However, this season the winger has turned into a very expensive mistake for PSG, who have completely sidelined him.
Not included in a single squad this season, Ben Arfa still makes it into the list as the 21st highest earning French sportsperson of the past year, with earnings of €7.4m (£6.5m) in 2017.
However, turning 31 next Tuesday, Hatem Ben Arfa is having a totally wasted season in Paris, not being included in a single squad, in Ligue 1, Champions League and domestic cups.
Playing alongside Ben Arfa in that 2015/16 Nice side was midfielder Vincent Koziello, and after joining Cologne in January, Koziello has been talking about his old mat.
Vincent Koziello talking to So Foot (as reported by GFFN):
“Hatem Ben Arfa tried his best at PSG, the club of his heart.
“I am sad for him and I think he is sad too.
“I don’t think I have understood everything that has gone on in that situation.
“I think that he absolutely had the abilities to succeed at PSG, especially in his first year.
“He tried his best at PSG, the club of his heart, and I think that he would have had regrets had he not done so before his career ended.”
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