There’s nothing we all like more than a good old reopening of the Hatem Ben Arfa debate.
Well when I say all, I really mean all the Newcastle fans who like to open this wound once again and argue it out.
The same people falling onto the same sides of the argument, just as was the case when he was at St James Park.
I don’t think I have seen a single person change their mind about Hatem Ben Arfa in the 33 months since he last pulled on a Newcastle shirt.
The media of course love feeding this obsession and so we have been subjected to the latest bout of Hatem Ben Arfa-ing.
There are claims from France that PSG have indicated they would let the winger/playmaker go out on loan for the rest of the season, though the player has countered this.
Hatem Ben Arfa:
“I remain confident about my future.
“The first six months have been a little bit difficult but that is life.
“There are challenges and you have to accept it, keep plugging away.”
It has also been a little bit overdone when it comes to just how much of a disaster his time at PSG has been.
Hatem Ben Arfa was always going to be a bit of an impact substitute at the French champions with the hope of getting games here and there.
So far he has been involved in 14 of the 19 Ligue 1 matches PSG have had, though he has only started four.
Maybe his main disappointment will have been in the Champions League with only one start and a coupe of appearances off the bench, though there again no doubt this dream still burns brightly for Ben Arfa.
I think it is also more of a case with the player being unlucky to arrive at PSG when they are in a state of transition and the playing level has dropped.
They have a mouthwatering two legged last 16 match against Barcelona in February/March and does anybody honestly think the player is going to pass up possibly glory in that Champions League tie and potentially beyond, to come and play in the Championship? This is the big reason why he joined PSG so why would Hatem Ben Arfa walk away now.
However, it is all irrelevant anyway, because no matter the local arguments about whether HBA is suitable for a return to St James Park, he would never be offered the chance anyway.
Yes Rafa Benitez has control of transfers but there are limits and Mike Ashley would never consider allowing this one. Nor would Rafa suggest it, even if he thought the player was a good fit.
Ashley sees it as having paid £5m and top wages for over four years to a player who only started 48 league matches and then was forced to pay him off and received zero transfer fee for him.
So even on loan, do you honestly think the Newcastle owner would agree to pay top top wages and make Hatem Ben Arfa United’s top wage earner after all that?
It is the same situation as when Joey Barton has been suggested for a possible return in recent times, especially when released by Rangers this season. He angered Ashley so much that the NUFC owner paid him off without even trying to get a transfer fee, such was his desire to get him out of the club.
No matter how much lazy journalism there is surrounding Hatem Ben Arfa and Newcastle United, this is one transfer that can have a big red line put through it.
The love (or hate) affair is really over and has been for years, with no chance of romance blossoming ever again for Hatem on Tyneside.