Merseysiders are absolutely right to pull back from a summer move to sign Newcastle United’s mercurial, but injury-ravaged, midfield player.
Liverpool are now said to be having second thoughts about signing France international Hatem Ben Arfa as part of a swap deal involving front man Andy Carroll.
SOURCE: The Daily Mirror.
To the majority of Liverpool supporters, this must have seemed like the perfect swap deal. To rid themselves of misfiring front man Andy Carroll and bring in a highly-skilful and much sought after midfield player, Newcastle United’s Hatem Ben Arfa in part exchange likely had many Reds rubbing their hands.
While it is still undoubtedly true that the Anfield side’s head coach Brendan Rodgers is desperate to get the giant England international front man off the club’s books come this summer, the chances of the Magpies’ mercurial and highly-talented France international also moving in the opposite direction have since greatly receded.
The reason for the Reds’ apparent change of heart lie in the playmaker’s suspect fitness record, which has alerted Liverpool’s American owners, Fenway Sports Group, who now feel that buying a 26-year-old with a string of injury problems throughout his career may not be the wisest investment that they have ever made – especially if one also takes into account the £35 million that they splashed out on the underperforming Carroll.
A quick glance through Ben Arfa’s medical records shows just why the Americans have now put an end to Rodgers’ interest in the Frenchman: for a start, Ben Arfa is currently out injured for Alan Pardew’s men with the hamstring injury that the player picked up on March 7, with his return date still not known due to the severity of the injury.
Meanwhile, that is not the first time that the schemer has suffered a hamstring injury, as just last December he missed over two months of the season with a similar type of knock and suspect hamstrings are hardly what you are looking for when buying a speedy, creative wide man for your club.
And that is before we even taken into account the broken leg that Ben Arfa suffered early on in his Magpies career, so perhaps FSG have made the right decision here over the non-purchase of the Newcastle midfield player this summer.