Alexander Hleb looks set to leave Barcelona after a disappointing first season with the Spanish champions. The 28-year-old started just 8 League games from his 19 appearances and failed to score for the club. He has spoken encouragingly about leaving the Nou Camp which should surely alert a number of clubs in both England and Germany who are more than aware of his talent. He told German newspaper Bild, “I am right in the best years of my career and I do not want to spend those years on bench”.
News that the Belarusian is actively looking to depart the Camp Nou will be welcomed by a number of Premier League clubs after performing well in his 3 seasons with Arsenal. Even the Gunners themselves may be interested in bringing the talented playmaker back to the Emirates although the signings of Samir Nasri and Andrey Arshavin may prove otherwise.
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A player with the proven ability to impress in English football should surely interest the likes of both Chelsea and Liverpool who’ve perhaps lacked the cutting edge the quick-footed midfielder can readily provide. There’s also the likes of Man City, Aston Villa and Everton who may see the 28-year-old as a further signal of intent for next season and a class acquisition with less chance of not suiting the Premier League. His versatility should also appeal as Hleb can play on either wing, through the centre or off the forward in the ‘hole’.
The Minsk born star made 89 League appearances in his 3 seasons with the Gunners scoring 7 goals before leaving for £11.8m in the summer. He is likely to be made available for far less after making little impact in Spain as Barca have been in scintillating form winning a trio of major trophies. Hleb’s route into the Barcelona first team has been blocked by some of the best attacking players in the world in the shape of Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Lionel Messi so unless there are injuries his position is likely to remain the same next season if he remains in Catalonia.
German giants Bayern Munich have shown an interest in the player which is hardly unsurprising as Hleb was a star in 5 seasons in the Bundesliga with Stuttgart where he earned the nickname ‘Zauberlehrling’ or Wizard’s apprentice’ for his trickery.
He has won 48 caps for his country and earned the Belarusian Player of the Year title on 6 occasions. Despite playing for a number of big clubs Hleb’s only club honour prior to last season was the Belarusian Premier League title in 1999. He had been Bundesliga runner-up in 2003, Champions League runner-up in 2006 and League Cup runner-up in 2007. However, despite Barcelona’s trophy haul Hleb’s bit-part role at the Nou Camp is likely to come to an end.
Would Arsenal fans like to see Hleb return? Would you like to see the Belarusian at your club? Let’s hear your views.