Five EPL flops who resurrected their career in France
Is the French League the perfect place for Premier League bad boys to find their feet again?
Over the past four to five years, the Premier League has seen plenty of talented but controversial players who have failed to deliver because of a lack of discipline.
The Premier League is generally seen as one of the biggest litmus tests for world-class players to shine and cement their legacies. Players, who generally come from other leagues, tend to take their game up a notch to prove themselves and rub shoulders with some of the best players in the game.
There are, however, certain players who remain in the public’s mind for all the wrong reasons.
Ligue 1 does not fall into the category of top leagues in Europe. Only PSG and to an extent Lyon, can be seen as a real threat to the hegemony of Spanish, German, Italian and English clubs in Europe – widely considered as the leagues to prove oneself in.
However, a growing trend has been noticed over the past four to five years. Players who face “disciplinary” issues have been sent to the French League to spend some time in the “wilderness” and help them get their groove back. Here is a select list of players who have had disciplinary problems in the Premier League and have been shipped off to France to find themselves again:
#1 Hatem Ben Arfa
The French winger, now with PSG, was always regarded as one of the finer talents to have come to English shores from France. Following his move from Marseille to Newcastle in 2010, he was touted as a huge talent with many tipping him to make it to Barcelona or Real Madrid in the future. His time at Tyneside was memorable, with his silky dribbling capturing the imagination of many fans at St. James’. His time at Newcastle was capped off by a blistering solo goal against Bolton in the 2011-12 season.
Following a move to Hull City, his bad disciplinary record came to the fore with manager Steve Bruce even claiming he had no idea where the player was after he missed training. Ben Arfa and his tainted reputation had to trudge back to France and he found his swagger again with Nice.
Following a tremendous 2015-16 season, where he scored 17 goals in 34 games, he moved to top dogs PSG and now features in their first team.