I wake up every morning at about 10 in the morning and the first thing I do is check to mornings football news. Who is in and who is out? Lately there have been a lot of rumors linking Arsenal midfield ace Alex Hleb to a number of European clubs, most notably Barcelona and Inter Milan. These rumors really started to materialize with the now infamous Gelato meeting that took place between Hleb, his agent and Inter officials while Arsenal were in Milan for the first leg of the knock out stage for the Champions League. Since then, rumors regarding the player’s future have been circulating quite regularly, even prompting Arsenal manger Arsene Wenger to comment that the club’s potential should be enough to keep the highly rated midfielder at the Emirates.
As with any highly skilled player, rumors are bound to surface regarding transfers to new clubs. However, Arsenal must do all that they can to make sure these rumors stay just that, rumors. To lose Alex Hleb after the season both he and the club have had could prove to be tricky at best. Alex has been an integral part of Arsenal’s attack this season, providing precision passing and even showing an eye towards goal (only on a few occasions, as most Gooners will tell you). Many bring up the winger’s lack of goals and assists as reasons to why Arsenal might not miss the player. However, Hleb’s 11 assists and 4 goals in all competitions have not told the whole story.
Alex Hleb’s contribution to Arsenal lies outside the numbers. Anyone who has seen the 26 year old Belorussian play this season has been witness to the intangibility of his value to the club. Darting runs, unmatched ball control, precision passing and a wicked shot all combine to make this player indispensable. While the numbers might not be there, Gooners must focus on his possession, his ability to beat defenders and his talent that puts him in places that gets other involves. I wonder, if one where to count, how many goal chance Arsenal have had due to a pass by Hleb, or from his ability to force the second defender. Alex Hleb is finally finding his footing in our side and in the Premier League. He has become a vital part of our team, and, with some off season training, could develop into a more productive goal score.
With the Boss’s desire to keep the team together coupled with the draw out episode concerning Mathieu Flamini’s future, the last thing the team would need is a further shake up in the center of the pitch, where we have been so good this season. Alex understands out system and has turned into a true Arsenal player. To lose him now could be a huge setback towards success next season. Hanging on the the player is key, and Wenger seems to agrees.
Credit to triplec1988