Belfast Telegraph

Magpies swoop for Ben Arfa

Newcastle boss Chris Hughton finally got his man on Saturday when France midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa completed a season-long loan move to St James' Park from Marseille.

The 23-year-old signed on the dotted line after weeks on negotiations between the two clubs to become Hughton's fifth summer capture with a view to making the transfer permanent.

Ben Arfa is a product of the famous academy at Clairefontaine and has eight senior caps for his country.

Ben Arfa, who has had disciplinary problems in the past, travelled to Tyneside earlier this month in an attempt to clinch a move, but returned to France with the clubs unable to agree terms.

He finally got his wish a day after Ivory Coast international Cheik Tiote joined Newcastle, and he could face Blackpool on September 11.

Ben Arfa said: "It was always my first choice to come here and I'm delighted to be here.

"I have paid real attention to the history of the club and the great players to have played for it, and particularly the supporters, and I want to showcase my skills in Newcastle.

"All I'm waiting for is to show what I can do in front of the public in Newcastle.

"A lot of my friends in France already know the fans' reputation. The stadium has an ambience that is unique and I feel very lucky to have his opportunity."


From Belfast Telegraph