Newcastle suffer major injury blow
Newcastle United midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa is out for the rest of the season after suffering another injury setback.
The Frenchman has been unable to enjoy his best form on Tyneside due to his frequent injuries and despite making his return from injury last week against Anzhi Makhachkala in the Europa League, he has been unable to fully recover from a hamstring problem.
His manager Alan Pardew seemingly confirmed the 26-year-old’s absence for the rest of the campaign earlier today.
He told BBC Radio Newcastle: “I think he’s going to need an operation on his hamstring, and it will probably leave him missing for the rest of the year.”
The French international has only managed 32 Premier League starts for the Toon Army since his transfer from Ligue 1 giants Olympique de Marseille back in 2010.
He initially signed on loan before making his move permanent a year later, but even then injury problems began to hamper Ben Arfa’s career in England, with a double leg break in October 2010 putting him out of action for the entirety of the 2010/11 season.
However, the Frenchman managed to convince Pardew of his quality to make his stay at St James’ Park a permanent one, and the former West Ham United manager is adamant his participation in Moscow last week was not the cause for his latest injury setback.
Pardew added: “That didn’t have an impact on it.
“We felt prior to that game he had done everything he had wanted to do, the medical team gave me the full clearance, we’d done all the scans, he’d had two weeks recuperation and training.
“[Next season is] the priority for him now because he’s been a huge miss for us.
“He gives us that X-factor. Unfortunately for Hatem, that’s the news that he didn’t want to hear but as far as we are concerned, the team has responded well in his absence and hopefully, we do that until the end of the year.”
So far, Ben Arfa has made 39 appearances for Newcastle, scoring eight goals.