PARIS (AP) " For Hatem Ben Arfa, signing with Paris Saint-Germain was supposed to be the end of a long and tortuous road back to the limelight.
But less than a year after landing at France's biggest club, Ben Arfa has the blues. Frustrated by his lack of playing time, the former France winger has made it clear he could look for another destination if his personal situation does not improve.
"Arriving in a big club, I expected when I joined Paris that it would be difficult. But I did not think it would be as complicated as it is," the much-traveled Ben Arfa said in a video posted on social networks.
In the footage , Ben Arfa is seen walking alone on a bridge over a canal. He has lost his charming smile, wears a pair of thick-rimmed glasses, and reflects on his substitute role with the French champions.
"Today I'm not accepting my situation," the 30-year-old Ben Arfa said.
After a chaotic stint in the Premier League, the former golden child of French soccer revived his languishing career with Nice last season, scoring 17 league goals for the Riviera side. His excellent showings earned him a move to PSG after club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi made his purchase a priority. But for Ben Arfa, the dream move quickly turned into a bitter experience as he failed to win the confidence of PSG coach Unai Emery.
Ben Arfa has played only 643 minutes in 23 league appearances after starting only five matches. He was left out of both Champions League games against Barcelona and has not started in a big match this season.
Emery is not giving many explanations for his little use of Ben Arfa, but he criticized his work rate earlier this season.
"I am not asking for anything here, not game time or a specific role, it's just that I want to be given my chance," Ben Arfa said. "I want to feel that there is competition in this team. I am a competitor and I am a champion. In my head, I love to win and it's difficult to accept being a substitute."
A member of the "Generation 87," a group of promising players born in 1987 that included Karim Benzema and Samir Nasri, Ben Arfa has struggled to live up to expectations after he left Lyon in 2008. Following two seasons in Marseille, he joined Newcastle, where a heavy tackle from Manchester City midfielder Nigel De Jong left him with a leg broken in two places, a serious injury that put him on the sidelines for almost a year.
Ben Arfa, a creative player with dazzling dribbling skills, was loved by the Magpie fans but his relationship with coach Alan Pardew became strain and the Northern club sent him on loan to Hull, where he played eight matches. His goals with Nice ultimately placed him back under the spotlight but were not enough to earn him a spot in the France team that reached the European Championship final last year.
Ben Arfa's latest comments came only days before PSG takes on Monaco in Saturday's League Cup final, and his message to Emery could not have been clearer.
"It is easier to accept being on the bench when you know that it will be temporary or that it could change," Ben Arfa said. "Otherwise, it is like a punishment. If I am given a chance and I do not play well, I will leave. I will understand. But I need to be given that chance."
This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings