Hatem Ben Arfa will play anywhere for Newcastle United but may struggle to get back in

DERBY BATTLE: Newcastle United's Hatem Ben Arfa (right) and Sunderland's Seb Larsson
DERBY BATTLE: Newcastle United's Hatem Ben Arfa (right) and Sunderland's Seb Larsson

HATEM Ben Arfa says he’ll play anywhere for Newcastle United as he looks to force his way back into Alan Pardew’s side.

The forward was an unused substitute for the club’s wins over Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.

Ben Arfa is expected to again be on the bench for the visit of Norwich City to St James’s Park on Saturday.

The 26-year-old, whose form dipped after match-winning performances against Aston Villa and Fulham earlier this season, has been used as a winger and a withdrawn striker by manager Pardew this season.

And Ben Arfa says he doesn’t care where he plays for Newcastle – as long as he’s not in goal.

“I’ll play anywhere on the pitch if the gaffer thinks it’s best for the team,” Ben Arfa told SportMail.

“I’ll give 100 per cent anywhere he puts me.

“I’m a professional football player – I have to give everything on the pitch. It is the same for all the players. I’ll play anywhere, just not goalkeeper!”

Ben Arfa’s most recent Premier League appearance came late last month in United’s 2-1 Wear-Tyne derby defeat to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

And his last start was in the club’s Capital One Cup loss to Manchester City.

Pardew fielded Loic Remy and Shola Ameobi up front against Tottenham and Chelsea, and will be reluctant to change a winning team against Norwich, managed by Chris Hughton, who signed Ben Arfa for Newcastle during his time in charge at St James’s Park.

However, there will be one enforced changed, with right back Mathieu Debuchy suspended after picking up five bookings.