Reports in France have suggested that Manuel Pellegrini wanted to bring Hatem Ben Arfa to West Ham this summer.
Ben Arfa was without a club over the summer and according to Telefoot, via TalkSport, Pellegrini wanted to make the 31-year-old Frenchman his third free transfer of the summer; he already picked up Englishmen Jack Wilshere and Ryan Fredericks for nothing in the window.
However, the aging wideman has had his attitude problems throughout his career and we’ve picked out some other reasons why he wouldn’t have been a good fit for the new-look Hammers…
Anderson and Yarmolenko
Put simply, Pellegrini recruited two widemen this summer who are better than Ben Arfa. Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko are quality additions, who are both younger than Ben Arfa to boot.
They both dug in and did a job for the team against Everton on Sunday; there must still be doubts over whether Ben Arfa has the personality to do similar.
Yarmolenko, especially, as a left-footed winger who likes cutting in from the right, would be blocking Ben Arfa’s path to regular football.
After Sunday’s two-goal salvo, would any West Ham fan swap Yarmolenko for Ben Arfa? You’d be hard pushed to find one.
Pellegrini’s new 4-3-3
Against Everton, Pellegrini shuffled the pack and came out with a more sturdy 4-3-3. Ben Arfa can play from wide, but his best role is as a number 10 freed from defensive responsibility.
That role doesn’t exist in Pellegrini’s new-look system; even if it did, the younger, quicker Anderson would be the prime candidate anyway.
Ben Arfa is the kind of aging, temperamental player West Ham need to try and leave in its past. Pellegrini must build around a younger, hungrier group of players who stick together when the going gets tough.
Ben Arfa wouldn’t fit the bill.