It looks like 24 year-old Hatem Ben Arfa will make his long awaited first team return at Darlington next Friday evening.
Ben Arfa – in training this week with the number 10 jersey
The Frenchman last played for Newcastle in that ill-fated game at Manchester City on October 3rd when in the 4th minute of the game, his leg was broken in two places by a very physical challenge from Nigel De Jong.
Ben Arfa has looked good in training and has apparently come through two intensive group sessions during this week unscathed – and it’s likely he will play one half in the game at Darlington.
The same can be said about Dan Gosling, who has also returned to full training this week, following his ACL knee injury he suffered a full 15 months ago at Wolverhampton.
The 21 year-old will also likely get 45 minutes at Darlington before the squad then leaves for their three game US tour in about 10 days time.
Alan Pardew told the local Newcastle press today:
“This will be an exercise in which we give as many of the squad players as possible a run-out.“We will wait to see if Cheick Tiote or James Perch will be involved.”
It should be a very interesting game at Darlington, where Newcastle fans will be able to see new boys Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye, Sylvain Marveaux and even Mehdi Abeid in action, and it’s a chance to also see the return of Ben Arfa and Dan Gosling.
Sounds good to us.