Alex Iwobi’s Arsenal warned to be afraid of one player ahead of Europa League clash

As Premier League side, Arsenal, prepares for their Europa League round of 16 clash with French side, Rennes, on Thursday night, the Gunners have received a hint on the one player they should be afraid of when the match gets underway in France. According to the manager of the Ligue 1 side, Julien Stephan, winger Hatem Ben Arfa will deliver an impressive performance when he faces off against Super Eagles star Alex Iwobi and his teammates at the Gunners.

Hatem Ben Arfa of Rennes and Julien Stephan, headcoach of Rennes during the Ligue 1 match between Rennes and Dijon at Roazhon Park on December 8, 2018 in Rennes, France. (Photo by Vincent Michel/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

The match would see the France international come up against his former Paris Saint-Germain coach for the first time since he was frozen out of the Ligue 1 champions by the Spaniard. Ben Arfa previously played under the Unai Emery at PSG where he found himself frozen out of the squad, with the player taking to social media to mark one year since his previous appearance by posing with a birthday cake at the time.

It was later revealed by his solicitor Jean-Jacques Bertrand that he was seeking hefty compensation after he found himself an outcast at the Ligue 1 champions. Ben Arfa has since recovered following his arrival at Rennes, delivering five goals in 18 top-flight appearances for his new club as well as netting twice in the Europa League.

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With a reunion now looming in this week’s round of 16 tie at Roazhon Park, Stephan suggested Ben Arfa will not be fazed by facing off with Emery for the first time since.”Hatem has a lot of experience, he’ll be able to handle it in a very smart way,” the 38-year-old told reporters. “We did not need to talk about it together and there are plenty of other topics to talk about before talking about that. It is Rennes against Arsenal in the Europa League, it is not Hatem against Emery. Champions are always present in this type of match and I’m sure Hatem will have a big game.”

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Meanwhile, Emery was also asked about the part Ben Arfa will play when he appeared at his pre-match news conference. “He is a very good player. He is playing with a big performance,” the Spaniard told reporters. “We know they have good organisation, good players. One is Ben Arfa, we need to control his quality and skills. The two matches they played against Real Betis he played very well with a big performance. Not only Ben Arfa, they have [Ismaila] Sarr and good defensive players. Mostly Ben Arfa is very important for them.”

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The pair meet in their first-leg tie this week before they play the return leg on March 14 at the Emirates Stadium. Will Ben Arfa be able to get one over his former PSG boss on Thursday night? Share your thoughts about it in the comments section.