Pardew eyes Ben Arfa return

Alan Pardew is excited by the options he will have at his disposal when everybody is fit as he looks forward to welcoming Hatem Ben Arfa back into the Newcastle United side.

Last Updated: 12/02/13 at 16:27 Post Comment

Hatem Ben Arfa: Closing in on a return to action after injury lay-off

Hatem Ben Arfa: Closing in on a return to action after injury lay-off

Ben Arfa is working his way back following a hamstring problem and could be in contention for the clash with Southampton at St James' Park on 24th February.

Pardew has few other injury concerns and now has a strong squad to choose from after bringing in a number of players last month, including Ben Arfa's fellow Frenchman Yoan Gouffran.

"You'd like to think with Yoan on one side, Ben Arfa on the other and Moussa Sissoko and (Papiss) Cisse through the middle - blimey, that's mouth-watering for us," Pardew said.

"I think there's a possibility Hatem will be back for the next home game.

"You put Cheick Tiote and Sissoko in there and we have got a really, really good side if we can get it out on the pitch.

"Unfortunately this year we haven't even come close to getting it out there. This is actually the closest I've come to putting my strongest side out.

"It does excite me, it really does. I really looked forward to the next game and I've not done that all year."

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think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

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e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

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n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

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