Just who is he? What does he do? What makes him tick? How well does he play for us?
He is undoubtedly a talent, but after 3 years at Arsenal, a title challenge, an FA cup, a Carling Cup final and a Champions League final later, does he have the desire to continue plying his trade in North London?
Hleb joined us three years ago from Stuttgart for a fee in the region of £10m. He's scored just 7 goals for us since joining and most have been this season. He was also called "Zauberlehrling" or "the Magician" for his silky skills and dazzling tricks for the German side...
But is 7 goals in three years and 11 assists is just not good enough for a winger or second striker, is it? Do we expect too much from him? Do we play him in the right position? Well, we've played him left, right, central and up front.
Why all the hoo haa about him leaving?
David Hytner of The Guardian recently commented…
“Wenger is aware that Hleb, 26, has the option to buy out the final two years of his contract under Article 17 of Fifa’s regulations and leave for a fixed fee, which would most likely be far less than the £11.2m Arsenal paid in July 2005.”
What does Hleb say?
Well, Alex has said many things. A few weeks ago we heard we was happy at Arsenal.
“Who knows what will happen? All I can say is that I enjoy the game here and enjoy playing for Arsenal. There is more to come from this team and from me.”
But a lot changes in two weeks, hey?
What does Arsene say?
Well, Arsene wants to keep Hleb. What does Hleb bring to us? He brings flair, he brings athleticism, he has a good short passing range? He’s had dazzling performances against many teams, and often been our best player…
“I believe Alex will stay but you cannot stop the rumours when players are in this type of situation, but I want Hleb to stay like everybody else.
“You can go to Real Madrid and Barcelona, but you have no more guarantees to win trophies. And from this season we should get the belief we can win trophies and come back to win the title.”
It’s an intriguing saga that beginning to unfold… The times ran a story yesterday saying that the Belarussian has confided that he is no longer going to be here next year.
Matt Hughes at the Times is quoted…
“Alexander Hleb, the Belarus midfield player, has confided in several of his team-mates that he is planning to join Inter Milan and his representatives are understood to have agreed a four-year deal with the Italian champions. With two years remaining on his contract, Arsenal will battle to keep hold of Hleb, with Wenger threatening to report Inter to Fifa allegedly for making an illegal approach that has yet to be made into a firm bid.
Hleb, 27, is understood to be frustrated by Arsenal’s failure to win silverware, as well as concerned that the club’s pay structure will prevent him earning what he could pick up elsewhere, particularly given the policy of awarding only one-year extensions to players approaching 30. “
Keep your eyes open, there is no smoke without fire…]]>