Why Roy Hodgson can pull off a masterstroke by snapping up Hatem Ben Arfa
Crystal Palace started this campaign with a 2-0 win against Premier League new boys Fulham, but have tasted back-to-back defeats against Liverpool and Watford. Indeed, these are early days for Crystal Palace and Roy Hodgson can turn things around quickly, just like he did last season.
It was a really good summer for the Eagles, with Hodgson succeeding in landing his top targets. And despite an overwhelming transfer window, it could be argued that the South Londoners are still a little short in the attacking department.
Given how the last two games have panned out, Hodgson could still be looking to add creativity to his side. Regardless of the fact that the transfer window is slammed shut, the clubs in English football can still sign free agents.
With that in mind, the Eagles should consider making a move for Hatem Ben Arfa, who is available on a free transfer following his release from Paris Saint-Germain. Ben Arfa, 31, played 23 league games in the 2016/17 season but didn’t manage a single outing last term with the Paris-based club.
But with his PSG nightmare done and dusted, the French attacker is now poised to return to action and Hodgson must convince the 31-year-old to join Palace. Ben Arfa may come with a baggage but his talent is special.
After the brilliance that he showed at Nice, he earned a dream move to PSG and although things didn’t end very well between him and the club, the attacker could be a top signing for Palace.
Ben Arfa is a real livewire and he possesses the special ability to change the course of the game in a blink of an eye – something that Palace desperately need following two successive defeats in the Premier League.
The 31-year-old can produce moments of absolute brilliance and the Eagles would largely benefit from his creativity and flair. A brilliant dribbler with a sweet left foot, the 31-year-old can play anywhere across the front line and possesses the elusive quality that would add further potency to Palace’s attacking play.
Ben Arfa would provide stiff competition for Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend, and the Frenchman would undoubtedly keep the two Palace stars on their toes throughout the season. He already has the experience of playing in England, having spent time with Newcastle and Hull City, and despite problems with his attitude, the 31-year-old can blossom under Hodgson.
Read more: Three players Palace must loan out this summer – including this out-of-favour Dutch sensation
If Ben Arfa could recapture the form he showed for Nice, he’d be worth a punt. He has dwindled in the wilderness over the last couple of years but at just 31, the nippy attacker should have plenty left in the tank. His availability on a free transfer makes it a no-brainer for the Eagles to snatch him up.