Football

Manchester United and Arsenal should move for Ben Arfa

Ben Arfa is a formidable talent. (©GettyImages)
Ben Arfa is a formidable talent. (©GettyImages).

For much of the summer, Premier League foes Arsenal and Manchester United endured comparatively similar transfer windows. With supporter expectation notably high, both clubs were often frantically scrambling to attempt to secure a multitude of signings.

As deadline day quickly approached with only the inexperienced young duo of Yaya Sanogo and Guillermo Varela having joined the respective clubs, it appeared as if both the Gunners and the Red Devils would face the punishing winter schedule with almost identical playing squads to those who finished the 2012/13 campaign.

With the minutes and second ticking away on deadline day, however, both Arsene Wenger and David Moyes exhaled a sigh of relief after finally completing significant deals to boost their squads.

For Arsenal, that signing was German star Mesut Ozil, who became the club's record signing after a £42.5 million switch from Real Madrid, while for United it was the folically-endowed combative Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini, who arrived for £27.5 million from Moyes' former employers Everton.

And although both clubs did eventually secure one of their preferred transfer targets, rumours have already persisted that both Arsenal and United will once again be scouring Europe in order to secure further additions when the window re-opens in January.

If indeed this is the case, which I fully expect it will be given Arsenal's reportedly substantial financial reserves and Moyes' obvious desire for creative reinforcements, then one player I believe both clubs should endeavour to target is Newcastle United midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa.

The 26-year-old French international, who signed for the Magpies from Ligue 1 runners-up Marseille in August 2010, is a spectacular player whose considerable talent has been evident to all during the early throws of the new domestic campaign.

With two stunning goals to his name already this year, Ben Arfa, who combines guile, technique and speed with a consistent eye for goal, is proving himself to be a shining ray of light during an otherwise dark period for the Toon under owner Mike Ashley and deeply unpopular director of football Joe Kinnear.

Perhaps the only thing that could possibly prevent Ben Arfa from completing such a move is his slightly controversial character.

During his career in his native France with both Marseille and rivals Lyon, Ben Arfa developed a somewhat corrosive reputation during frequent skirmishes with the French football authorities.

However, that aforementioned disruptive and harmful reputation should not discourage clubs from attempting to prise Ben Arfa away from St. James' Park. Although his time in France may have been littered with controversy, the Clamart-born star has largely succeeded in keeping his name out of the headlines on these shores, with Newcastle boss Alan Pardew even describing the player's attitude as 'exemplary' last season.

If he continues to produce such mesmerising displays, is able to keep a firm lid on his famously volatile temperament and avoid anymore unfortunate injury issues - he missed a substantial period of time with a double-leg fracture sustained in a sickening collision with former Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong in 2010 - then both Arsenal and Manchester United should seriously consider attempting to bolster their respective squads with the signing of Ben Arfa during the January transfer window.

Topics:
Manchester United
Football
Newcastle United
Hatem Ben Arfa
Arsenal
Premier League

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