Attacker Alexander Hleb has revealed he would fancy a return to Arsenal when his loan spell at Birmingham City expires at the end of the season.
The Belarusian, who is owned by European champions Barcelona, left the English Premier League powerhouse Arsenal in 2008 but has found opportunities at Spain limited, and he admitted his desire to return to London.
“I love Arsenal. It is always in my heart but now is too early to speak about a new club,” he said. “I want to give my best for Birmingham but if I have chance to go back (to Arsenal).”
“Everything is possible but I am just saying if I get this chance, of course I’d come, but it’s too early to speak about this.”
Hleb cited problems with adapting to Alex McLeish’s quintessentially British approach to football as a key reason for his decision not to remain at St Andrews.
“Before, I think teams like Birmingham were easy to play with but it is difficult when you play in such teams, not like Arsenal or Barcelona.”
“Here you need to just fight and run, not too much passing, and this for me is something new.”
“I have enjoyed it in a way because it is something new. This is a different experience although I prefer to play and to enjoy football.”
“But I will give 100 per cent for this club every weekend.”
And given Pep Guardiola’s preference for local talent, a return to Camp Nou is unlikely for Hleb.
“Barcelona is the biggest club in the world but it is difficult when you are not from Spain,” the 29-year-old said.
“It has happened with everybody, with Henry, everyone (as) Josep Guardiola picks the Spanish players.”
“I’ve not had a lot of chances to play there. (But) I prefer to stay in the Premier League.”
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