HATEM Ben Arfa has joined Hull City on a season-long loan deal – determined to prove Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew wrong.
Ben Arfa’s move to the KC Stadium was confirmed in the early hours of this morning.
The fans’ favourite, who fell out of favour at the club last season, had been frozen out at St James’s Park by Pardew, who could face a backlash from fans in the wake of the forward’s exit to a fellow Premier League club.
Ben Arfa rejected offers from Turkish club Besiktas and Lee Clark’s Birmingham City, but having been told he had no future at St James’s Park over the weekend, the 27-year-old, out of contract next summer, reluctantly made the decision to leave on loan.
Ben Arfa, however, won’t be able to play against Newcastle due to loan regulations.
Hull manager Steve Bruce admitted before the deal was confirmed that managing Ben Arfa, once labelled the enfant terrible of French football, would be a “challenge”.
But he is confident he can get the best out of him.
“He is an an exciting talent,” said Wallsend-born Bruce. “The question is can we ignite him again?
“Whatever has happened with him at Newcastle has happened. It’s a big challenge for us all.
“He wants to get his career kick-started again. Let’s hope I can get the best out of him.”
Ben Arfa hasn’t played for United since April, when he came off the bench against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.
He suffered a dead leg soon after making it on to the pitch and didn’t feature for the rest of the season, despite returning to fitness.
Ben Arfa denied he had been a disruptive influence behind the scenes in the wake of reports he had been involved in dressing room exchanges with Pardew.
The former Olympique Marseille player, in the international wilderness since Didier Deschamps took charge of France, said he was “sad and frustrated” to be in the cold at St James’s Park.