Hatem Ben Arfa at Newcastle
“Some mavericks you can lose, sometimes it gets away from you and becomes problematic, Hatem up at Newcastle became impossible," Alan Pardew admitted of his former attacker after managing him during his time at St James Park.
Steve Bruce, who took Ben Arfa on loan at Hull, was not so diplomatic.
"What a dreadful waste of real talent,” Bruce said after cancelling the loan.
"It's criminal because the lad can play all right but I must question how much he is in love with the game. To be great you have to be a team player not an individual."
Whether it was coincidence or the words of Bruce and Pardew struck a chord, the penny seemed to drop for Ben Arfa after his time in the North East and a move to Nice back in his native France saw his talent flourish.
It was there that he scored 17 goals in 34 games and earned himself an instant move to Paris St Germain.
But having failed to establish himself in the capital side's team, speculation has arisen that Ben Arfa could be on the move again.
He has been linked with a transfer back to Nice but the club's president Jean-Pierre Rivere this week dismissed the possibility in an interview with Telefoot while hinting he would be on the move elsewhere.
The penny finally dropped for Ben Arfa at Nice
“No. Hatem belongs to PSG, he has shown a lot of character this year, he has not given up, but I do not believe in the possibility of Hatem coming to Nice can happen," Rivere told Telefoot.
"His future at Nice, I do not think that we should look at that. It was a wonderful, magnificent love story with Hatem, we can only wish him the best for his future, wherever he goes.”
So at 30 years of age, and with unlikely platitudes about 'character' and 'professionalism' ringing in his ears could it be time for a matured Ben Arfa to give the Premier League another try?
And where better than the stage left vacant by his compatriot Dimitri Payet at West Ham.
Hammer boss Slaven Bilic said goodbye to Dimitri Payet this season
In many respects the Hammers have become more of a team since Payet left to return to Marseille in January - although sat in 15th place in the table clearly not a very good one.
But there is no question Slaven Bilic's side miss the Frenchman's magic touch, no matter how good Manuel Lanzini has been.
Ben Arfa has the talent to replace Payet, he is at the right age and seemingly now has the right attitude.
If West Ham get the kind of performances he turned in at Nice, Ben Arfa could prove to be one of the most inspired pieces of business for a long time.
And let's not forget what happened the last time the club took a chance on a maverick who had burned bridges at another Premier League club... step forward Paolo Di Canio.