There’s nothing Newcastle fans like better than a mercurial player in that famous black and white shirt, and Hatem Ben Arfa certainly seems to fit the bill.
Ben Arfa – in training last week
Ben Arfa is now in excellent shape, according to manager Alan Pardew, and Newcastle fans can see the great Frenchman in action tomorrow night at Darlington.
Ben Arfa has been out of action since October 3rd, when he suffered that horrific double break of his left leg, but the long wait is almost over for both him and the Newcastle fans.
Newcastle will still bring in one new striker before September, but Pardew has already said he will play the Frenchman in that withdrawn striker role, and with his skill he could get a bunch of goals for the side next season.
Certainly Pardew himself seems absolutely delighted with what he’s seen from the Frenchman in training, and that the 24 year-old looks back to his best.
Alan Pardew was right to insist on a safety first approach for both Ben Arfa and Dan Gosling at the end of last season, and neither played in those last few games of the season, and that common sense caution seems to be paying off.
Pardew makes no secret of the fact he sees Ben Arfa as a huge player for Newcastle, and this lad could make a big difference for the team next season.
Pardew was full of praise for the Frenchman today as he told the Newcastle Journal today:
I’ve been delighted to see Hatem Ben Arfa out there running – he looks in excellent condition. I’m really pleased in him so far.”
“Hatem gives us that X factor that we need. I said at the end of last season we would need one or two people to step up and provide us with that, and I hope Hatem can do that.”
“He is a player capable of that special pass or that special bit of skill that gets Newcastle fans off their feet.’
“I can’t wait to work with him, he can be a very important player for us next season.”
Tomorrow night will give us all a glimpse of what seems to be a new-look Newcastle side, which has a lot more skill than last season, that’s for sure.
It all sounds very good to us.