Hatem Ben Arfa gets invitation from MLS
It is over a year since Hatem Ben Arfa kicked a ball in anger.
The former Newcastle winger totally sidelined after a falling out at PSG (see below).
Whatever you think of him overall, surely most would agree that this is a massive waste of a player who can potentially light up any match.
With his departure from PSG imminent, Hatem Ben Arfa has now had an invitation from across the other side of the Atlantic.
Remi Garde was serving as assistant coach at Lyon when Ben Arfa was there as a young player.
Garde had a disastrous spell in England, taking on Aston Villa when they were bottom of the Premier League in November 2015, then leaving when they were still bottom in March 2016.
Prior to that, Newcastle were often linked with the Frenchman who had done well when eventually becoming Lyon manager.
However, the Villa episode didn’t do any Remi Garde any favours in terms of career progression but in November 2017 he finally came back into football management.
Taking on Montreal Impact in the MLS.
Now Remi Garde says he would welcome Hatem Ben Arfa to Montreal with open arms.
At 31, the winger/playmaker would surely be a star at that level in the MLS and could be the perfect destination.
“We know each other very well.
“If Hatem Ben Arfa is coming to MLS, he is welcome here.”
The Mag – 29 March 2018:
Hatem Ben Arfa celebrated his 31st birthday three weeks ago.
Though not exactly a lot to celebrate, as it is a year since he played any football.
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 though is the 21st highest earning French sportsperson of the past year, with earnings of €7.4m (£6.5m) in 2017.
Back in 2015/16, he transformed Nice 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.
Despite his treatment by PSG, Hatem Ben Arfa has today posted this farewell via his official Instagram (translated from below):
“Soon it is the end of my adventure at PSG.
“Despite difficult times, I am happy to have worn this jersey.
“I will keep wonderful memories with my [PSG] teammates.
“Through this message I take the opportunity to thank the many supporters…I will like always this club.”
View this post on Instagram
Bientôt la fin de mon aventure au PSG, malgré des moments difficiles, je suis heureux d'avoir porté ce maillot, je garderai de merveilleux souvenirs avec mes coéquipiers et à travers ce message j'en profite pour remercier les nombreux soutiens .. j aimerai toujours ce club #Psg #icicestparis
A month ago former Nice team-mate Vincent Koziello had this to say about Hatem Ben Arfa:
“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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