Debuchy, now 33, has reflected on his time with the Frenchman at St James’ Park, saying how he could ‘win you a match’ at ‘any time’ with his ability to ‘eliminate 2-3 players at once’.
Here’s what the former Newcastle full-back has had to say about the potential arrival of Ben Arfa – a move that would also see him play alongside another ex-Mag in Remy Cabella at Saint-Etienne:
“He is a talented player who makes the difference in the matches, he is welcome to Saint-Etienne. I played with him in Newcastle, and he can at any time win you a match.
“He is one of the players who can eliminate 2-3 players at once so we would all like to play with players who earn you points.”
Despite a disastrous spell with PSG and the fact he turned 32 this year, Ben Arfa has shown glimpses of his best at Rennes this season, scoring a stunning solo goal earlier this month (see clip below) to add to his tally of 9 goals and 6 assists for 2018/19.
Not only that, he’s recently being declared the second best dribbler in Europe, with his average tally of 5.6 successful dribbles per 90 minutes outdoing the likes of Lionel Messi, Eden Hazard and Neymar this season:
- 6.5 – Sofiane Boufal (Celta Vigo on loan from Southampton)
- 5.6 – Hatem Ben Arfa (Rennes)
- 5.4 – Jeremie Boga (Sassuolo)
- 5.0 – Neymar (PSG)
- 4.7 – Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad)
- 4.6 – Allan Saint-Maximin (Nice)
- 4.5 – Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
- 4.2 – Youcef Atal (Nice)
- 4.0 – Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
- 3.9 – Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)