Hatem Ben Arfa will start his life at the Newcastle club by joining the training today at Benton.
Hatem Ben Arfa – will train today
We’re not sure if Ivory Coast International Cheick Tiote will also be at training today, since there are Internationals coming up and Cheick will probably be involved in the games.
Ben Arfa was not included in Laurent Blanc’s first competitive France squad he named recently and that will give him a couple of weeks to bed down at Newcastle.
But we do expect both players to be in the squad for the next game against Blackpool at St. James Park a week on Saturday, where we must try to capture all 3 points with an attacking performance.
Chris Hughton, the Newcastle manager, will be fairly pleased with his side’s start to the season, although a win at Wolves on Saturday would have seen us in 4th place in the league.
And Ben Arfa, the attacking midfielder who has presumably not trained for a couple of weeks, should be available for the Blackpool game, hopefully.
Hughton said today:
“I can’t imagine he’s too far away on his fitness,” “We’re always pushing to add to the squad.There are still a couple of days to go, but if I was left with the squad I’ve got now, I would be happy.”
“We’ll see if Ben Arfa is up to speed for the Blackpool game,” “We’re hoping he’s going to join us in training on Monday. We’ll have a couple of weeks with him and see where he is from a fitness point of view.”
Ben Arfa, a 23-year-old play-maker and full French international, has been signed by the club to add some creativity and excitement to Newcastle’s midfield.
However, his pre-season has been disrupted somewhat by his refusal to train with French Champions Marseilles, in his attempt to force through the loan move to Newcastle.
The international break will give Hughton some time to assess the fitness of the youngster, but we would hope both two new signings will be in the squad for Blackpool, plus any other signings the club makes before tomorrow afternoon, and we would expect a bumper crowd for the Blackpool game.
If all goes well Newcastle have an option to buy Ben Arfa for around £5.5M next summer or when the player makes 25 appearances this season.