Pardew ‘I’ve no doubt Hatem Ben Arfa will confirm just what a superb player he is’
Only 27 days after taking the job of manager at Newcastle, Alan Pardew made his first signing, Hatem Ben Arfa.
Chris Hughton had brought the Frenchman to St.James’ Park on loan before getting the boot from Mike Ashley.
Despite still recuperating from the horrific injuries inflicted via Nigel De Jong’s assault on Hatem Ben Arfa three months earlier, Alan Pardew and Mike Ashley took a massive gamble when they paid a reputed fee of just under £6m for the playmaker.
Indeed it was a further nine months before Hatem Ben Arfa tasted first team football again, coming on as a sub for Demba Ba after he’d scored a hat-trick against Blackburn.
Quite what Alan Pardew and Mike Ashley make now of their gamble on the bargain signing of an injured Ben Arfa we can all easily guess, but this is what Alan Pardew said at the time of the signing;
“He is obviously a top player and he has shown that in France, at international level, and in his short time here at Newcastle.
“I’m delighted to secure Hatem as my first signing and once he’s back fit, I have no doubt he’ll confirm just what a superb player he is.”
As we come up to the four year anniversary of Hatem’s signing, Alan Pardew’s tune has changed slightly.
Asked about his first ever Newcastle United signing, Pardew only had this to say;
“He won’t be coming back here, that is all I can say.”
Short and not so sweet, a total mess for Newcastle United, the player and the manager.
I can’t help feeling this could have all been handled slightly better…
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