Alexander Hleb admits he misses Arsenal - seven years after leaving for Barcelona

Hleb

Alexander Hleb has admitted that he misses playing for Arsenal.

Former Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb has told Turkish newspaper Hurriyet that he misses playing for the Gunners, almost seven years after leaving for Barcelona.

Hleb, now 33, made his name with German side Stuttgart, but Arsenal moved to snap him up in 2005, with Hleb eventually becoming a star at Highbury and then the Emirates Stadium.

With 129 appearances for Arsenal, Hleb became a key player under Arsene Wenger, and was a regular in the Gunners midfield until his departure in 2008.

After three years in North London, Hleb followed former team-mate Thierry Henry to Barcelona - but lasted only one season with the Spanish giants.

Since then, Hleb has been a shadow of his former self, with his career taking him back to Stuttgart, then to Birmingham City, Wolfsburg, Krylia Sovetov, BATE Borisov, Konyaspor and now Genclerbiligi.

Almost seven years after turning his back on Arsenal in favour of Barcelona, Hleb has reflected on that move in an interview with Turkish newspaper Hurriyet - and admitted that he misses playing for Wenger's men. 

"I had a great time at Arsenal, we had a great team spirit and were a fantastic team before I left for Barcelona, I miss those days," said Hleb.

Given how Gael Clichy, Thomas Vermaelen, Bacary Sagna and Alex Song have fared since leaving Arsenal, many believe that Wenger knows the right time to sell his key players - and Hleb is certainly a testament to that idea given how his career has gone lately.

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