Hatem Ben Arfa “expelled” from Lille squad following dressing room row

Hatem Ben Arfa has been excluded from the squad of reigning Ligue 1 champions Lille after commenting on rival team Guingamp.

Ben Arfa joined Lille in January as a free agent after leaving fellow French top division side Bordeaux. Remarkably, Lille are his seventh club since his departure from Newcastle in 2014.

In his seven Ligue 1 games for Lille, Ben Arfa has recorded a single assist. That came during a 5-1 home defeat to Paris Saint-Germain on February 6.

YouTube video

Since then, the Frenchman has found himself on the bench regularly. His most recent appearance was a 13-minute cameo during a 0-0 draw with former club Bordeaux. He also featured from the bench during Lille’s Champions League last 16 second leg tie against Chelsea.

Read: Bordeaux drop sponsor for making memes about their poor form

But whilst his playing time situation has deteriorated, things aren’t going much better off the pitch.

Hatem Ben Arfa ostracised by Lille

Hatem Ben Arfa, who has been no stranger to controversy throughout his career, has made “insulting and disrespectful remarks” to Lille manager Jocelyn Gourvennec, according to RMC Sport.

He reportedly told the coach during half-time in the Bordeaux clash: “We play too low here. We don’t play like a team that claims a place in the European Cup. It’s not Guingamp here!”

For context, Gourvennec is one of the most successful managers in the history of Guingamp, who currently play in Ligue 2. He guided the club to promotion to the top division in 2013. The following year, Guingamp won the Coupe de France. That qualified them for the Europa League for the second time.

YouTube video

Gourvennec would later leave the club to take over at Bordeaux but returned in September 2018. He then helped them to the Coupe de la Ligue final at the end of the campaign.

Following the incident, RMC also report that “part of the locker room” wants Ben Arfa, who didn’t train on Wednesday, to leave the club. Lille are also examining whether they can release the Frenchman from his contract, which concludes at the end of the season.

Ben Arfa’s former agent also told RMC (as per Get French Football News) that Ben Arfa is “a child” and said he was “perhaps the biggest wasted talent of 21st century football”.

Featured Image Credit: Getty