Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Ben Arfa signs permanent deal

Hatem Ben Arfa
Hatem Ben Arfa

Hatem Ben Arfa became Newcastle boss Alan Pardew's first signing on Wednesday after his season-long loan move became permanent.

The 23-year-old Frenchman has signed a four-and-a-half-year deal after the Magpies agreed an undisclosed fee with Marseille.

Ben Arfa has been out of action since suffering a double leg fracture in a challenge with Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong in October, but showed enough in his four appearances for the club before that to persuade them of his ability.

He said: "I am absolutely delighted to be signing for Newcastle United on a permanent basis.

"During my short time at the club, I thoroughly enjoyed playing for the team and for the supporters too. This is a great club and I am very happy to be committing my future to them.

"I am getting back to fitness as quickly as I can and am really looking forward to getting back to St James' Park, seeing the lads again and working with Alan Pardew and his staff.

"During my time out, I have been inundated with messages of support from fans and I want to repay them all with good performances on the pitch later this season."

Pardew, who has moved quickly to tie up a man initially recruited by predecessor Chris Hughton amid reported interest from other parties, was delighted to have made an early breakthrough as he targets offensive reinforcements.

The manager said: "When I came to the club last month, one of my priorities was to secure Hatem on a permanent deal.

"The last thing I wanted was for us to lose him when his loan ended, so we are really pleased to have agreed that deal today."

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre