"I hope for him that he no longer plays for Nice next season." Those were the words of Nice manager Claude Puel regarding the future of Hatem Ben Arfa.
Don't be mistaken, Puel doesn't wish to get rid of the winger, but rather believes the winger is capable of moving on to bigger and better things given his performances this season.
With the Frenchman out of contract in the summer, he can be snapped up for nothing which rather predictably will see him court a number of suitors in the next six months. But perhaps he's better suited staying where he is.
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Even if you hadn't seen a single Nice game this season, you would have probably seen plenty of him and his tricks on social media in 300-style slow motion.
As well as the fancy flicks, the winger has an end product to his game, and is the club's current top goalscorer with ten goals in 21 league games.
After an explosive, prolific start to the season, he endured a lean spell. However he has bagged three goals in his past two games as a timely reminder that he's available.
His manager claimed that Real Madrid were keeping tabs on Ben Arfa last month, though their recent transfer ban may influence things somewhat. No worries as the attacker has a number of clubs reportedly vying for his signature.
Turkish giants Besiktas have already approached the player for a January move, with Ben Arfa turning them down in order to finish the season with Nice. Given the way the season has gone for his side, that is no surprise.
Stay in France?
Returning to France proved to be the best thing this season for Ben Arfa. Having sullied his reputation abroad, he was finally able to get his head down and play his football.
Ben Arfa is very appreciative of what his stint with Nice has done for his career, including getting back into the France squad.
Nice were small fry when Ben Arfa made the return, however he has played a key role in propelling them up the table this season. Les Aiglons currently find themselves in third, and should they stay there, they could be playing Champions League football next season.
If that is the case, Nice could prove to be a club capable of both keeping him happy and matching his ambition.
Where should Ben Arfa move to next? Have YOUR say in the comment box below!
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