Ex-Liverpool man Cisse claims former Newcastle star is ‘as good as Messi’

Lewis Oldham
Djibril Cisse on Hatem Ben Arfa

Djibril Cisse has suggested that former Newcastle United star Hatem Ben Arfa is “as good as” PSG star Lionel Messi.

After coming through the ranks at Lyon and having a spell at Marseille, Ben Arfa made the move to the Premier League in 2011.

The midfielder initially joined Newcastle United on loan before his move was made permanent in January 2012.

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Ben Arfa showed flashes of brilliance as he grabbed 14 goals and 15 assists from his 86 appearances for the Magpies.

The Frenchman joined Hull City on loan in September 2014 before he was released from his Newcastle contract in January.

Ben Arfa went onto have a spell at PSG and he is currently a free agent after leaving Bordeaux at the end of the 2020/21 season.

Appearing on the Booska-P YouTube channel, Cisse claimed that he can be “as good as” Messi:

“Technically, Hatem… I might seem crazy. But I think that Ben Arfa at a good level is as good as a Messi,” said Cisse.

“I’ve seen him do things. I’ll say it again, Hatem at his best, is Messi.”

Newcastle United’s Saudi-led takeover was completed last month. They now have more funds at their disposal and they have identified Unai Emery as their “preferred choice” to replace Steve Bruce.

The Magpies are expected to be busy in the transfer market in January and Kevin Phillips has called for them to sign James Ward-Prowse:

“Ward-Prowse is a top, top player,” Phillips said.

“It would take a fair bit of money to get him out of Southampton though because he signed a new deal at the beginning of the season. He committed to the club. It would take something special to get him out of there.

“For me, he’s the best dead-ball specialist in the Premier League. That is why he’d be a massive asset for Newcastle. It would be an exciting signing.

“You don’t want to be paying over the odds though. Any club selling to Newcastle will be charging a premium. They must be prepared for that.

“Ward-Prowse would be a solid signing for any club.”