Hatem Ben Arfa is suing PSG for a reported €8m (£7m) after his turbulent time at the club from 2016-2018.
According to his solicitor Jean-Jacques Bertrand, Ben Arfa is seeking damages for being frozen out of the team in his final 15 months at PSG.
Ben Arfa’s time at PSG: Five things you need to know…
- PSG signed Ben Arfa on a free after an impressive season at Nice which followed a problematic end to his time in England.
- Ben Arfa scored on his PSG debut against his old club Lyon in the 2016 Trophée des Champions.
- Despite this, he was never favoured by then-manager Unai Emery. He made just 23 Ligue 1 appearances in two years.
- These all came in his first season and he left the club when his contract expired last summer.
- The 31-year-old moved to Rennes in the summer and has shown flashes of brilliance in his short time at the club.
During the time, Ben Arfa and his agent showed, as they have done throughout his career, that they won’t suffer in silence.
Speaking to RMC in 2017 Bertrand said: “We want the club to respect their obligations to the player.
“It’s as if Hatem had no contract: you leave, you have nothing. We can’t do things that way.”
This time around, Ben Arfa’s agent has chosen to speak out again, detailing why his player will sue his former club. In an interview on Sky Sports, he said: “An important part of his contract was conditioned on his performance on the field.
“So, he is effectively prevented from participating and fulfilling his contract.
“Hatem considered that this period was very harmful to him. He believed that, with a personal coach, he would be able to find another club immediately and he did.
“He believed that he would regain a high competitive level quickly but, as everyone knows in this business, you need weeks and weeks to get in full shape after being prevented from playing official games for 15 months.”
Bertrand also stated that Ben Arfa was effectively stopped from playing for upsetting club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi with a comment made to the Emir of Qatar on a visit to Paris.
PSG are yet to speak on the matter.
France’s 87 generation
Ben Arfa was part of the famous or maybe infamous, ’87 generation when coming up in France. The key players in this generation of French youngsters alongside Ben Arfa were Samir Nasri, Karim Benzema and Jeremy Menez.
The side burst onto the scene in 2004 when they won the UEFA European Under-17 Championship. Ben Arfa finished the tournament as top goalscorer and Nasri scored the winning goal in the final.
Since then the quartet, less so with Menez, have gone on to show the qualities in the biggest stages of football. However, all seem to have encountered issues with management over the years.
This wasn’t the first time Ben Arfa had gotten into a confrontation with a club. He publicly fell out with Steve Bruce at Hull City which followed in him being released from parent club Newcastle. His relationship with current France boss Didier Deschamps turned sour when he moved from Marseille to Newcastle.
Karim Benzema’s big dispute with Deschamps came after he was already France manager. Fuelled by a blackmail accusation from Mathieu Valbuena, Benzema and Deschamps’ relationship seemed to peter away. He hasn’t played for France since 2015.
Funnily enough, Nasri also had issues with Deschamps in the French team. This came after Nasri reportedly bad-mouthed a journalist after France’s Euro 2012 quarter-finals loss to Spain.
He continued to play but upon not making the French 2014 World Cup squad – despite creating more chances than any other French player that season (91) – he decided to retire from international football.
France’s 87 generation is an incredibly unique one.