Hleb is a wasted player

Hleb has not endeared himself to many Arsenal fans after being discovered that the he has been secretly hawking himself to other clubs. Be that as it may, and do feel free to throw all the derogatory stuff possible at him, but it is an inescapable fact that he is one of the players that redefined Arsenal’s midfield as a tower of strength and possession. His twinkling toes might not have yielded many goals but as long as Helb was on the field there was the potential for others to score. But his role on the field was doomed to be an anomaly. He would never replace Bergkamp as the definitive slot striker. And he did not have the speed to play wide. Nor did he have the holding capabilities of Gilberto.
Wenger never defined the position Hleb actually played. This would not be problematic in itself, as his elusiveness could have proven dividends. However, unlike Fabregas who firmly established himself as the locus of the attack, Walcott’s grooming as a winger, and Flamini’s industry which saw him naturally usurping Gilberto, Hleb’s ghost in the machine approach never caught on. Flamini’s departure is a real loss and he will be hard to replace. Hleb if he should go, leaves a void in those enviable possession stats. However what he accomplished at Arsenal remains something of an enigma.

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