Newcastle will be bringing in quite a few players this summer, if we include the new Development players that will be coming into the club.
Ben Arfa in action for France against Iceland last Sunday
Newcastle released 9 Development players yesterday, if you include goalkeeper Ole Soderberg, and senior players Alan Smith, Peter Lovenkrands and Danny Guthrie were also released, and they will need to be replaced this summer.
The first player through the door is a skillful young Frenchman – Romain Amalfitano – and we are being linked with another 22 year-old Frenchman Yacine Brahimi, has handed in a transfer request at his French club Rennes.
If a player is pushing for the transfer and is keen to move on, they request (or are sometimes asked to request) a transfer, and then they lose any bonuses that would be coming to them, if they were moved by their club, without pushing for a move.
Both Amalfitano and Brahimni are technically gifted players who have an eye for goal, so it seems that Newcastle have been scouting the French scene well once again, ready for this summer.
Players in the French leagues will be more willing now to come to Newcastle, with the Magpies and Alan Pardew in particular, getting the very best out of Hatem Ben Arfa, who was a bit of a brat – so we are told – when he was in France at Lyon and Marseilles – two of France’s biggest clubs.
But we’ve seen the lad become a very good player for Newcastle on the right wing, and he has widened his view of the game, and of life too, which is always good, and he sees things a little differently on Tyneside:
“I feel I’ve developed, I feel that on the pitch I am enjoying myself, and in life I am really enjoying my family and friends and live every moment to the full.”
“I have grown up in my head so it has affected all aspects of my life. Lately, well you could say really that in the last two to three years I have evolved a lot.”
“You evolve when you realize that the situation you were in previously was not working, you get smacked so you start asking questions, and then you start to realize that it is not always the fault of others.”
“It is true to say that nowadays sometimes I say I can’t be bothered, but then very quickly retract as I realize that I have some responsibility. In the long run, by questioning each situation, you manage to tame yourself.”
“And you become less impatient, less impulsive less driven by your own desires.”
Both Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye seem to be big players for France, and they have played in both of their warm-up games, as they prepare to open their European campaign against England on June 11th – and that should be an interesting game to watch for Newcastle fans – especially for those of us who are English.
If Ben Arfa scores one of his great goals from the middle of the park, we’ll not know whether to laugh or cry.
England play against Belgium this afternoon at Wembley in one of their warm-up games, and we have no idea how we’ll do with so many players injured.
Frank Lampard is out of the tournament now, along with Gareth Barry and of course Wayne Rooney managed to get himself barred from the first two games – and there’s no Rio Ferdinand – so the expectations on England are fairly low for a change.
That may turn out to be a good thing.