Newcastle United midfielder Mo Diame has revealed he talked to Hatem Ben Arfa before he agreed to sign on at Newcastle in the summer and Ben Arfa told him to join his former club.
Mo has been interviewed in the Chronicle and he admits he is still very close to Hatem after they played together for two years at Clairfontaine when they were young and the two are still in good communication with Hatem now in Paris at PSG.
Hatem Ben Arfa at Newcastle in 2013
They were also at Hull City together when Ben Arfa left Newcastle on loan for the season in August of 2014.
But Steve Bruce ended the loan deal the following January and Ben Arfa finally ended up at Nice for a full season before joining PSG last summer under manager Claude Puel, who is now at Southampton.
This is what Mo has said about his friend:
“Me and Hatem are friends. We had two seasons together at Clairefontaine. We still keep in touch now.”
“He’s not playing a lot at Paris-Saint Germain, but everyone knows the player he is. He will be back.”
“It’s true, Hatem told me to sign for Newcastle when I asked. He told me what a massive club Newcastle is. He was very happy here.”
“He told me he had a good relationship with the fans – he loved it, he told me straight away to come to Newcastle.”
“It would be nice for him to come back! He’s a player who could help the team and imagine him coming back and having happy fans who are behind him again.”
“I think it would be good for him and I know he still loves the club.”
Ben Arfa had one of his best seasons for some time last term when he scored 18 goals in 37 appearances for Nice.
He was in big demand in the summer when he joined PSG, but he’s played only 15 times for them with one goal this season.
It’s very unlikely he would ever return to Newcastle, but if he did it would be under a manager like Rafa Benitez, who has vast experience on how to handle many different players with different temperaments and personalities.
It would be like a fairy tale if Ben Arfa did come back to Newcastle and we always said he’s the type of player who would be very good in a winning side.
No, there’s just no way he could ever come back.
That’s right isn’t it?
Ben Arfa played 86 times for Newcastle with 14 goals and 16 assists and in 2012 he scored two of the greatest individual goals ever seen at St. James’ Park against Bolton and Blackburn Rovers.