According to one of Britain’s most well read newspapers, Newcastle are prepared to let three of their wingers leave in the summer with Hatem Ben Arfa, Slyvain Marvaeux and Gabriel Obertan reportedly surplus to requirements.
As for Obertan, who never came close to cutting the Manchester United mustard either, it’s unlikely that another Premier League club will jump at the chance to sign the Frenchman.
Meanwhile, although Marvaeux showed some early promise after his move from Rennes to St James Park, the clamour for the one-time Liverpool target’s signature is unlikely to reach fever pitch either as he’s since flopped on Tyneside.
However, the mercurial Ben Arfa represents a slightly different kettle of fish to his compatriots and having shown an interest in him before, Arsene Wenger’s ears may be pricking at the news.
If Arsenal’s latest loss to Everton did anything (apart from help reel the Gunners in) it highlighted the distinct lack of pace in the visitors’ attack, especially without the injured Theo Walcott.
For all their defensive frailties in recent times, Arsenal have been unable to get in behind teams as they revert back to attempting to thread balls through the eye of a needle.
Ben Arfa may be a source of frustration to some Newcastle fans when his dribbling game comes unstuck, but he is direct and ultimately has the pace and penetration the Gunners are sorely missing.
At 27, the Frenchman still has many good years ahead of him and even if he was not a guaranteed starter at the Emirates, he could offer a different dimension by running at players.
As it stands, Arsenal’s hopes of a top-four finish are hanging in the balance at 1/2 with Ladbrokes, as Everton close in on the hallowed berth.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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