Former Newcastle ace Hatem Ben Arfa has been linked with a shock move to the second tier of French football.
Speaking to MaLigue2, Le Harve President Vincent Volpe confirmed his club’s interest in the attacking midfielder, who has been without a club since leaving Rennes in the summer.
Here is what Volpe has had to say today, confirming that he’s held talks with the ex-NUFC star:
“We have thought about him. I have had contact with him…
“He wanted to quit France. I did not share his opinion in that regard… he loves Paul Le Guen and the feeling is mutual. It is not impossible that he continues to play in France, even in Ligue 2 with us…
“I must admit that it is more difficult now, as the season is passing by. There are contacts, there have been contacts. I have respect for him and I like him a lot.”
The move would be a surprise move considering Ben Arfa is coming off the back of decent season in France’s top flight with Rennes. That said, he’s still without a club, despite being heavily linked with clubs in Italy, Spain and Turkey over the past few months.
Discipline issues have played the Frenchman’s career, which is a shame given his ability has never been questioned.
Newcastle arguably saw the best of Ben Arfa’s form, with his performances in a black and white shirt making him a regular in the French squad. Following the horrific leg break in October 2010, he came back stronger and was a key part of the side which finished 5th the following year under Alan Pardew.
I was fortunate enough to be at the games against Blackburn in the Cup and Bolton in the league that season, two games where Ben Arfa scored unbelievable solo goals – what a player he was on his day.
His flair and trickery is something Newcastle never replaced until the arrival of fellow countryman Allan Saint-Maximin this summer, however it remains to be seen if he can produce that spectacular moment of quality where it matters.
It’s a shame how his career has panned out, as Ben Arfa could have achieved a lot more if it weren’t for the attitude problems that appear to have hampered his career over the years.