Hatem Ben Arfa: The ‘One Who Got Away’ for Newcastle United?

Despite somehow providing the Premier League with one of its biggest spenders in 2015/16, Newcastle United have ultimately failed to raise much excitement in and around St. James’ this term, with the impending threat of relegation ever present on the scene for Steve McClaren and his struggling Magpies outfit.  

 

It seems as if the current Tyneside squad are yet to truly click on a consistent basis for their manager this term – and although the Magpies hierarchy have indeed tried to introduce some much needed flair back into the heart of the Newcastle starting XI – something admittedly still feels missing from the current set-up at St. James…

 

So then, as former Geordie favourite – Hatem Ben Arfa – has subsequently rediscovered his finest form back among Ligue 1 with OGC Nice this season, does the quick-footed French international simply represent ‘one who got away’ for Newcastle United and the determined Magpies faithful?

 

Well, although the player in question has never been known as the most reliable asset currently operating on the European scene, after his impressive upturn in form for OGC Nice in 2015/16, it certainly remains difficult to criticise Ben Arfa right in the here and now…

 

 

In fact, Newcastle United would arguably look far more dangerous with the 28-year-old Frenchman on board at St James’ this term, even if he did admittedly face rejection from relegation bound Hull City in the run up to his eventual departure from the English game…

 

The St. James’ Park faithful once played host to a truly exciting maverick figure in the shape of the former Marseille favourite – and via his incredibly quick feet in the final third, effective shooting ability in and around the penalty area, and undisputedly promising dribbling skills when running with the ball at his feet – this was a player several Premier League sides would have loved to call their own just a few short seasons ago.

 

Hatem Ben Arfa has nonetheless shined greatly for OGC Nice this season, whilst successfully managing to implement himself back among the French national side in the run up to Euro 2016.

 

…And although the fiery French play-maker didn’t exactly finish his Tyneside career on the most glamorous terms in the end, after reportedly falling out with then manager Alan Pardew – it seems several Newcastle fans wouldn’t say no to a possible return for Hatem Ben Arfa this season…

 

 

 

Yes, the 28-year-old creative midfielder possibly couldn’t be relied upon to perform week-in-week-out within the Premier League these days – but as the Magpies have since experimented with a succession of ill-fated French attackers since Ben Arfa eventually left the club – it seems Newcastle United arguably haven’t moved on a great deal when it comes to highlighting new transfer targets.

 

Both Florian Thauvin and Remy Cabella have recently failed to establish themselves on Tyneside despite each arriving on the back of a pretty sizeable transfer fee, and as the likes of Gabriel Obertan and Sylvain Marveaux still seemingly remain on the books at Newcastle, perhaps Hatem Ben Arfa should have been issued with one last chance to make it in the North East after all…

 

Either way, the 28-year-old French international and his increasingly impressive bag of tricks are now ultimately disassociated from Newcastle United in the modern era – so barring any last minute return for the tricky Ligue 1 star – Hatem Ben Arfa will never likely operate in front of the St. James’ Park faithful again.

 

Just another ‘one who got away’ it seems then…   

 

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