Remi Garde has been speaking of a possible reunion with Hatem Ben Arfa at current club Montreal Impact. Could the unwanted and unused Paris Saint-Germain midfielder actually make the MLS switch?
At 31, Hatem Ben Arfa is set to leave PSG at the end of this season. He has been a member of the Ligue 1 side since 2016, but has only made 23 appearances in that time. Presumably, he would be happy to get off the bench and find some regular first-team minutes elsewhere.
Well, it might not be as fanciful as first thought. Garde mentioned the French midfielder to the press on Tuesday:
"“We know each other very well. If Hatem is coming to MLS, he is welcome here.”"
It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to see this move happen in the coming months, though he will certainly have many other clubs around the world interested. Reports have suggested that Premier League club Leicester City have heavy interest in bringing in Ben Arfa — this would most likely cover a potential move by current midfielder Riyad Mahrez over the summer –, and there is the possibility that he could stay in France or make a return to Newcastle United.
Ben Arfa has been linked to MLS clubs previously. Most recently, in the fall, it was reported that LAFC and Orlando City were interested in signing him before the start of the 2018 MLS season. While those rumours never came to fruition, it proves that there is history between the league and the player.
With his future unclear it would seem MLS may not be on his immediate radar. Although first-team minutes have not come at PSG, just two years prior, he had a tremendous season with Nice in Ligue 1 scoring 17 goals in 34 appearances. He still has what it takes to play consistently in the top leagues in Europe and with the way things are ending at PSG, he will likely want to prove that.
The Impact would be a top candidate to land Ben Arfa if he decided to look towards going that route. He would be the instant star of the team and working with Garde would make it an easier transition for him.
With Garde not going into detail with his comments about Ben Arfa, one can only speculate on if this is a serious move being considered by the midfielder. He would undoubtedly be a great addition to the league but for now, it is only another rumor.