Hatem Ben Arfa spent four years in the Tyneside, having joined on loan in the summer of 2010, before making the move permanent soon after. He was a part of the Magpies squad for four years from then on, making 86 appearances, in which he went on to net 14 goals, before a fall out with then-Newcastle manager Alan Pardew saw him shown the exit door in 2014. Having firstly joined Premier League side Hull City on loan for the 2014-15 season, he then permanently moved to French side Nice in the summer of 2015.
The French star could be on his way out from Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain just after a year he made the switch to the French capital, if reports making the rounds are anything to go by.
And now, some among Newcastle United fans are making the call pleading Rafael Benitz to bring back the French forward back to St. James’s Park in the summer when the next transfer window gets open.
Ben Arfa impressed heavily upon making the move back to his homeland, bagging 18 goals in 37 appearances for Nice and his superb performances earned him a move PSG last summer. However, since he has been with the Les Parisiens, he has been struggling with gaining enough game time.
He has made 31 appearances for PSG this season, and only 9 of these registered 31 matches have been from the start. However, in the 31 appearances, he has managed to score just 2 goals and notched 6 assists to his name.
The former Newcastle forward has time and again been played out of position by Unai Emery, with the ex-Sevilla boss asking his to lead the line in the early parts of the season. This, combined with series of inadequate playing time has caused him to consider his future with the reigining Ligue 1 champions.
The 30-year-old attacker has now been linked with a move back England. Southampton now under manager Claude Puel, under whom he enjoyed huge success at Nice last season.
However, he remains a largely popular figure in Tyneside and at his best, Ben Arfa was regarded as one of the most brilliant players to have graced the St. James’ Park in recent times. Ben Arfa would definitely bring some fire and creativity to the Newcastle attack.
The Castle are currently on top of the ELF Championship and look set for a return back to the EPL for next season. Lack of top-flight football could have been a bone of contention for him to consider a return, but with promotion almost a surety, this shouldn’t be a problem. Rafa Benitez should go for the positivity that it would create around the St. James’s Park, to see a former star return, could provide a lift to the entire team.
Fans, do we remember this goal from Ben Arfa for Newcastle?