Marseilles manager Didier Deschamps has today said that Hatem Ben Arfa’s move to Newcastle United has been thrown into doubt by the double fracture of his lower left leg.
Ben Arfa – Newcastle future now in doubt
A clause had been written into the 23-year-old loan agreement that would have forced a permanent move to Newcastle if he played 25 times for Newcastle this season, but that will not now happen, and he’ll be stuck on 4 appearances for probably at least six months.
Marseilles’ manager Didier Deschamps has already been in touch with Ben Arfa, who had a successful operation on his left leg at Manchester Royal Infirmary on Monday, and is due to be discharged tomorrow.
Didier has said that no decision can now be made on the player’s future until the summer:
“It’s a great pity,” “He’ll need patience, but he’ll be back at his best level. He had just started with Newcastle. Now we’ll have to wait until the end of the season to see what happens.”
“Personally, I sent Hatem a text after his injury. I didn’t call him because I’m not sure if he would have replied.” “There is an option for Newcastle to purchase him bound to a number of matches.”
“He won’t play them, obviously, but we’ll have to see what Newcastle do.” “There would be no problem for me in him returning to Marseilles, but I don’t think it’s too much in his own plans.”
Of course Ben Arfa and Didier Deschamps famously have not got on very well at all since Didier arrived at Marseilles last summer, and there’s little chance he will stay at the French club.
We have to believe that if push comes to shove Newcastle would be able to take him permanently at the end of the season, but they would want to ensure he’s back playing again by then, and that his injury has fully healed.
But the fact that Ben Arfa had his operation in Manchester, and was not whisked away to some specialist elsewhere, at least suggests the injury was not too complicated, and we have to hope the leg will heal well.
No ligaments seemed to be damaged, and if it was simply a double break he could recover very well in a period of months. We hope so in any case, for the sake of the youngster, who has become a huge favorite with the Newcastle fans.
But there’s not too much that can be done right now, and we’ll just have to wait until Ben Arfa is playing again – hopefully this season.
But if he does return to play for Newcastle this season, we’ll have to measure the decibels of the roar he will receive when he comes on again at St. James’ Park – that will be heard around the City of Newcastle. 😀