Belfast Telegraph

Bruce reveals Ben Arfa swoop shock

Hull City boss Steve Bruce has expressed his surprise at being able to land Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa on loan until the end of the season.

Ben Arfa was one of four deadline day signings by the Tigers along with record signing Abel Hernandez, Gaston Ramirez and Mohamed Diame.

His departure has caused some consternation on Tyneside with former Magpie Olivier Bernard describing the club's decision as "a big gamble".

Bruce had been watching Ben Arfa since he fell out of favour at St James' Park but with plenty of other interest he was not convinced a short-term deal would be possible.

Bruce told his club's official website: "I've been monitoring Ben Arfa for a couple of weeks and we quietly made it happen.

"I didn't think it would be possible to do a loan deal, but the later it got the more beneficial it became. With a bit of patience and luck, we've managed to pull in a really good player.

"We all know he is a wonderful talent and although it has gone a little bit sideways for him at Newcastle in the last couple of months, he'll bring that little bit of flair and creativity that every team needs."

Despite a promising start to his Newcastle career Ben Arfa fell out of favour with boss Alan Pardew and was left out of the club's long-haul pre-season tour.

Inconsistency and a perceived lack of effort saw him banished to the reserves but some Newcastle supporters are clearly unhappy over the Frenchman's departure.

His compatriot Bernard told the Newcastle Chronicle: "It's a big gamble. It's also a big statement from Alan Pardew that he does not believe in Hatem.

"The only problem is, it seems he is the only one who doesn't believe in him. The big issue is that Newcastle won't look very good if he starts to perform the way Hatem can in a Hull City shirt."

Bruce could be forgiven a sigh of relief over his deadline day dealings after suffering the departure of Shane Long and a long-term injury to new signing Robert Snodgrass on the opening day of the season.

And the Tigers boss paid tribute to those at that club who helped facilitate what he described as a day of "fantastic business".

Bruce added: "When we were having discussions about the sale of Shane Long a few weeks ago, they said it wasn't a problem to reinvest the money we received.

"They've proved that again with what we've been able to do in this transfer window. Now it's up to me to make sure that the players gel together and get us up and running."


From Belfast Telegraph