Aliaksandr Hleb, sometimes referred to in
English as Alexander Hleb (Belarusian: Аляксандр Глеб, born
Minsk), is a
Belarusian footballer who plays in
Arsenal and the
Belarus national team.
In 2000 he joined
VfB Stuttgart from
BATE Borisov for approximately 150 000
USD. He quickly established himself as one of the most important players of the side.
On June 28,
2005 he joined
English side Arsenal for a sum which may reach 10 million
GBP (depending on performance). Arsenal manager
Arsène Wenger will most likely use Hleb at many different midfield positions next year, but in the long term, Hleb will probably replace either
Fredrik Ljungberg or
Robert Pirès. Hleb has agreed to a 4-year contract with Arsenal. He is also known as a dead-ball specialist who will help on Arsenal's corners, and he could become the free-kick taker ahead of
Thierry Henry. He had a very successful pre-season with Arsenal, scoring his first goal in his first appearance for the Gunners within two minutes of coming off the bench at half-time.
On August 21,
2005 he played his first full official match for Arsenal away to
Chelsea. He received favorable reports from medias after this match, with a 'Best possible debut' tag and was one of the players who received best marks. However, soon after Hleb sustained a knee injury while on international duty with Belarus and was out for several months. He returned to the Arsenal first team squad in December, playing 60 minutes in Arsenal's final
UEFA Champions League group stage match against