Rather embarrassing news again for French football tonight, with reporte that Newcastle loan target Hatem Ben Arfa has walked out on his club Marseilles.
Hatem Ben Arfa – where has this lad gone?
There are reports out of France tonight, that the midfielder returned from international duty today with his agent, after scoring France’s goal in a 2-1 defeat against Norway in Oslo last night.
But Ben Arfa is understood to have been bitterly disappointed that his potential loan move to Newcastle United had been delayed by his French club, and only learned about this after a meeting with Marseille President Jean-Claude Dassier today.
Ben Arfa was not happy at all, and that is an understatement, as he is said to have been furious after the meeting, and is quoted by the French media as saying:
“I will not return any more.”
Ben Arfa wants to play in England’s Premier League and had his heart set on a move to Newcastle United, but of course Marseilles started to play games a couple of days ago, by basically holding the move in abeyance.
Marseilles seem to be hoping that other Premier League clubs will come in and better the offer made by the famous Newcastle United club, which by all accounts was a fair offer of around £800K for the season.
Newcastle are sensibly saying nothing about this – but it points again to a lack of discipline that this lad has shown more than once in his short career.
If he does come to Newcastle, then our senior players and Chris Hughton himself will have their work cut out to keep the lad on the straight and narrow, but he will become a much better player, if he can do that.
We have great confidence in the likes of Alan Smith and Kevin Nolan to help the younger lads at the club, and Chris Hughton seems to be something of an expert at getting on with his players, and bringing the best out of them.
More news on this as it comes in.
PS – I’m now back in the US, after flying back to Raleigh from Heathrow this afternoon with my wife, following our four week vacation in England – we need a rest!