The re-emergence of Hatem Ben Arfa last season was great for all to see. He finally looked like the player Newcastle thought they were getting and was an integral part of their fantastic season.
Well reports today are more bitter-sweet for Newcastle fans, as on the one hand Ben Arfa has stated he would like to stay at Newcastle, BUT, would consider a move if a ‘serious’ or ‘exciting’ offer from another big club comes along.
The French international told L’Equipe:
“Newcastle are a very big club, even if there are bigger ones.
If I do not have a really, really serious proposal, I’ll stay.
If a big club comes, but does not propose something interesting – that is to say, the coach really wants me – I’ll stay.
I have settled in that team, I have trust from the coach, chairman and all the fans. I have never been settled like that”.
He also said that he would require the full trust of any prospective manager if he were to leave.
The former Lyon and Marseille star told the newspaper that he is grateful to Newcastle for signing him permanently despite being injured at the time.
It seems to me that as soon as a player performs well for one season they start talking about leaving, it is refreshing to hear Ben Arfa state that he would only move if it were the right move and if the coach of a bigger club wanted him. This is good for the game and I hope he stands by these statements, however, I can’t help but think that if Man City, Man United, Chelsea or Arsenal come calling he would jump ship like most of Newcastle’s stars would.
I think for the Premier League we all need Newcastle to hang onto Tiote, Ba, Cisse, Ben Arfa etc. the same with Tottenham and Modric, Bale etc. How can the Premier League ever be as competitive as possible if just as clubs like Newcastle and Tottenham start to emerge the big clubs swoop for all their players?
It happened at Aston Villa with Young, Milner, Barry, Downing etc. just as Villa started to emerge as a force in the Premier League the big boys swooped and now they are struggling to stay up (partly because of the manager as well). But in order for the league to be exciting and competitive, like it was in the early 90’s, then clubs like Newcastle and Tottenham amongst others need to put their foot down like Levy did with Modric and say, no we are not a selling club!
This player signed a 5-year-deal and until we think its time to move him on he is going nowhere!
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