Hatem Ben Arfa is due to return to Newcastle on Monday, and that good news hopefully will be on top of a win against Wolves today.
Ben Arfa – back to Newcastle training on Monday
Alan Pardew has spoken to the French Daily, L’Equipe today, and has talked about how he will be very patient with Ben Arfa this season, but if the French International is able to play in a few games, then that would be a b0nus.
But the main thing that Alan has said today, is that he will use Ben Arfa as a withdrawn striker for Newcastle next season, and in the middle of the park.
This is what Pardew told L’Equipe:
“After such an injury you have to be patient. We don’t want to burn him out,”
“The objective is to help Hatem to feel back at ease both in his body and mind. His rehabilitation has gone well, our doctors have been in constant contact with Clairefontaine’s medical team.”
“I have had several talks with Hatem. He has spent a lot of time in France during the last few months, so it is essential for him to adapt again to daily life in a group and get focused on the Magpies.
“We rely on him, above all, for next season, but we won’t rule out anything.” “If he can play one, two or three matches before the end of May, it would be fine both for us and him.”
“Next season? He will play a central role in our attacking line. I want to use him as a play-maker, a number 10, just behind one forward.” “I am convinced he is able to score between 10 and 15 goals a season.”
“We will think about how to protect him during matches.” “Our expectations are big but once again we will go slowly. The end to this season will allow us to see if he has not lost his acceleration quality.”
It seems the position that Pardew sees Ben Arfa in, is the role that captain Kevin Nolan has played for the last two seasons, and Kevin managed to get 27 goals in that time too.
But it’s right that you play one of your most skillful players where he can hurt the opposition the most, and that’s exactly what Chris Hughton said about the 24 year old too.
Chris also wanted to play Ben Arfa in a position where he could get goals, and we’ve already seen the sublime skills and unbelievable shooting power of this very gifted young player.
Ben Arfa will also get lots of games for Newcatsle, because he can play anywhere across the midfield, on either wing, and also as out and out striker up front.
Ben Arfa has only appeared 4 times for Newcastle so far with one sublime goals at Everton, but most Newcastle fans are already convinced this lad can become a Newcastle great in the future, and of course he just seems to love things at Newcastle.
It’s a match made in heaven, and something to look forward to next season, and yes, that’s a but of an understatement.
But first things first, and it would be great to welcome the Frenchman back on Tyneside, with a good win this afternoon against Wolves.
Then next week looks like being a good week for Newcastle fans – for a change – but we hope it will be a very good week for Ben Arfa too.