The majority of Newcastle’s senior players returned to pre-season training yesterday morning, and Hatem Ben Arfa was one of them, and there was news in the Northern Echo that manager Alan Pardew is willing to offer the Frenchman another chance at the club.
Ben Arfa in action last season
We’re not exactly sure what happened with Ben Arfa last season, but after a bright start in the first few games, he disappeared and started only five PL games all season, and by the second half of April, he wasn’t even on the subs bench – although he was fully fit.
There were a couple of arguments in the Newcastle dressing room between the player and the manager during April and that didn’t help, and some senior players were also getting fed up at Ben Arfa’s unwillingness to track back for the team.
Newcastle could probably get around £5M for the winger this summer, since he only has one year left on his contract, and we still think that if a decent offer comes in for him he will be sold.
And while there have been no bids for the player, it’s still fairly early in the transfer window, and over seven weeks to go for a deal to happen.
And Ben Arfa may even want to remain at Newcastle this season and see out the last year of his contract, and become a free agent next summer, when a number of clubs would be interested in the player – especially if he plays well for Newcastle in the coming season.
Alan Pardew wants to wipe the slate clean, and will apparently tell Ben Arfa he is willing to forget what happened last season (that’s good), as long as Ben Arfa works hard in games and follows the manager’s instructions – which wasn’t always true last season.
But we still would be surprised if Ben Arfa is with us come September.
What do you think?
Written while on vacation in England.