Hatem Ben Arfa has been named by France manager Laurent Blanc, along with his Newcastle team-mate, Yohan Cabaye, in his preliminary European Championship squad of players playing outside of France.
Mercurial French winger Ben Arfa in provisional French Squad
Laurent will announce the provisional squad in two pieces if you like, and this squad is those French players who are based abroad.
The mercurial winger Ben Arfa has shown some fantastic form in Newcastle’s colors this year, and the lad has scored six goals and has seven assists in 29 appearances this season for the Magpies.
And two of those goals, against Bolton and Blackburn at St. James’ Park, where he got the ball inside his own half and ran through to score, are candidates for goal of the season.
Ben Arfa won the last of his seven caps in a 3-1 win over Tunisia back in 2008, and he has been included in the dozen players from abroad named today, and the list also includes Newcastle’s top central midfielder Yohan Cabaye.
Both Cabaye and Ben Arfa have been instrumental in the resurgence of Newcastle United this season, with the team 5th top of the Premier League, and just 2 points off 3rd place with one game to play.
Blanc has until May 29th to choose his final 23-man squad, and he will name his preliminary squad of French Ligue 1 based players next Tuesday.
Eight of the players named by Blanc today play in the English Premier League, the world’s top football league.
France’s Preliminary squad of players based abroad is as follows:
Defenders: Gael Clichy (Manchester City), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Younes Kaboul (Tottenham Hotspur), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Philippe Mexes (AC Milan), Adil Rami (Valencia).
Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle United), Florent Malouda (Chelsea), Samir Nasri (Manchester City).
Forwards: Hatem Ben Arfa (Newcastle United), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich).