The former Arsenal man made the switch to Barcelona in 2008 in a deal worth 11.8m, but since then has failed to impress at the Catalan club. So much so that he has been sent back on loan to the club where Arsene Wenger first spotted him, Stuttgart…now that’s irony for you.
Many clubs are said to be interested in the 28-year-old attacking midfielder, Manchester City are sure to be favourites to land his signature, but Sunderland and Aston villa are also in the hunt, as well as other top European clubs.
His agent Uli Feber revealed in the Daily Mail on the 26th of April, that there has been some interests from a number of premiership clubs.
“For now, he is looking forward to going back to Barcelona but he has good memories of England from his time at Arsenal. He likes English football and there has been interest from Premier League clubs.”
Alexander Hleb spent three years at Arsenal, where he performed consistently, showing us great skill and ball control…he was an entertaining player to watch. As an Arsenal fan, I for one did rate him. I thought he was a dependable asset, had good movement and skill, but didn’t have the end product to his game which let him down on occasions.
When Hleb departed from Barcelona to seek out silverware in 2008, I knew it wouldn’t transpire, In fact I didn’t think the player would cement a first-team place at all.
I understand as a footballer that when a club like Barcelona comes knocking you have to open the door, but in Hleb’s case I felt he opened it to early. Hleb was evolving into a good player at Arsenal and blended well into the squad, but unfortunately his ego got the better of him. Hleb’s Greed took over and eventually made his move to Spain but never excelled as he would have hoped to…it seems the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
There is a saying that I agree with (and I’m sure you reading this will agree) is that whenever a high profile player leaves Arsenal to seek, as they say ‘glory’, they rarely succeed. The one player in mind who has left Arsenal and found ultimate glory, was an extraordinary one, none other than Thierry Henry. Many other players have left and have failed in their mission, Hleb falls within this category.
When a good player is treated and looked upon as a prince, and then decides to move to a bigger club, then that prince (9 out of 10 times) will turn into a pauper…this is exactly what occurred with Alexander Hleb at Barcelona.
If the Belarusian does make his return to English football, would he be able to reach the same heights as he once did with Arsenal?
I have no doubt in my mind that Alexander Hleb would have regretted moving away from the North London outfit, and if he could, would turn back the hands of time.
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