Alan Pardew has talked about having Hatem Ben Arfa back in Newcastle tomorrow, and it’s exactly six months to the day, since he suffered a double fracture of his left leg at Eastlands.
Ben Arfa – Pardew will take no chances with this youngster
And as we reported yesterday, Pardew sees the skilled midfielder playing in a central attacking role next season for Newcastle, in a classic number 10 role.
But Alan Pardew has been very non committal about Ben Arfa even playing at all this season, and that;s a sensible approach, after the boy has had so much time away from the game.
Maybe he can be gradually introduced as a sub for the last 15 minutes or so, of Newcastle’s last few games.
And it would be great to be at St. Jame’s Park when he’s first brought back onto the pitch as a sub, because he will get a huge ovation from the Newcastle faithful, which he will probably never forget.
And news today that both Mike Ashley and Derek LLambias have visited Ben Arfa in France during his recovery, so that’s good to hear.
PSG doctor Eric Roland has advised the Newcastle coaches to be “extra vigilant” in the way they bring back the French International, and it certainly seems Alan Pardew has taken that advice to heart.
Pardew told the Sunday Sun today:
“It’ll be a great boost for everyone to have him back on Monday. But he’s some way off still,”
“He’s coming back to get the end of his rehab in and around the players, to get a sense of the club again because obviously he’s been away for a while now.”
“We want him to get embedded with us before he starts playing football again. His recovery and rehab will be here.” “I would like to say we won’t need him before the end of the season,”
“Looking at the last three games – those would be the ones you look at and say ‘Well maybe he’s going to be all right for them’.”
“He might be desperate to play in that last game. Some people are desperate not to go through the whole summer without playing a game.”
It’s important that Ben Arfa comes back slowly and surely, and the last thing we want to happen is to rush the lad back.
And with Newcastle’s fine win yesterday, there shouldn’t be any urgent reason to rush him back, and it may be the fans have to wait until next season to witness the sublime skills of this great young player.
If that’s how it turns out, then so be it.