Hatem Ben Arfa has gone to Tunisia and is there this week.
Ben Arfa – in Tunisia visiting grandparents
It seems the French International was due to return to training in Newcastle last Monday, but the 23 year-old has been granted compassionate leave to return to see his grandparents in the troubled North African country.
We were wondering how much the troubles in Tunisia would have been affecting Ben Arfa, since although he was born in Paris, his grandparents still live in that country.
With the anti-government protests there over the last several weeks, Ben Arfa is reported to have concerns over the welfare of his grandparents, and its good to hear the club have allowed him to go to Tunisia for a week on compassionate grounds.
So his delay has nothing to do with his actual injury, or the recovery from it, and the club is still hoping that he can play a big part through the end of the season.
In fact the news is still excellent concerning his recovery, as the reports indicate he has continued to make excellent progress over the last eight weeks.
Ben Arfa has been working six hours a day at France’s Clairefontaine football academy, and has already began running on the injured leg, and is said to be in excellent physical shape.
Ben Arfa is now one of several good players returning to Newcastle following injury, including Steven Taylor, Stephen Ireland, Shola Ameobi and Ryan Taylor.
And since Newcastle are short of attacking options Alan Pardew could well use the lad up front as a second striker, as he’s already shown he can put that ball into the back of the net.
And it seems Alan Pardew is already a big fan, and is looking forward to the brilliantly skilled winger returning to Newcastle.
So are Newcastle fans everywhere, and this lad will get a terrific welcome back when he sets foot again on the hallowed St. James’ Park turf, as he’s a big part of Newcastle’s future.