Kevin Nolan was delighted with the performance of 23 year-old Hatem Ben Arfa on Saturday, and he scored his first goal for Newcastle – a wonder goal to be sure.
The mercurial Ben Arfa on Saturday – what a player this boy is!
Nolan talked about Newcastle’s new and exciting creative player yesterday:
“It just shows what he’s got. He’s a top, top player.” “He’s showed it in training but he was great in his first Premier League game.” “I’m sure there’s more to come.”
“He reminds you a bit of Kinkladze because he doesn’t touch the ball with his right at all.”“He’s a good lad and he’s trying to learn English.”
“We’ve got a good group and a tough game next week against Stoke, so there is no resting on our laurels.” “We have to prove we can do it week-in, week-out.”
Ben Arfa has so far won 5 Ligue 1 Championships in his career, four with Lyon and one last year with Marseilles – so he is already used to winning things in football. Yes, we know – so what’s he doing at Newcastle comes immediately to mind, whether we want it to or not. 😀
And when Ben Arfa moved from Lyon to Marseilles in 2008, he cost €11M (about £9.3M) with Manchester United, Liverpool, Everton, Real Madrid and AC Milan said to be interested in the player.
The fact that Newcastle can sign him for around £5.5M after 25 appearances, is because of his poor disciplinary record, and at both Lyon and Marseilles he clashed with players in training, and of course at Marseilles he also clashed with Didier Deschamps, the manager.
But that could become a great deal for Newcastle United, if indeed Chris Hughton can control the lad, and turn him into a model professional.
If he can do that and Ben Arfa keeps producing the form he’s already shown in his first two games, this lad could be one of Newcastle’s best ever signings, and he has already set alight the appreciative Newcastle fans.