Why Hatem Ben Arfa needs to be our first signing in the summer

Sign him up!
This title may come as a surprise to some who are reading this, but all those who have seen Hatem Ben Arfa in the last few months will realise that this is a player who not only ignites fear and terror into the hearts and minds of the opposition defence, he is also a player who can make St Jamesk Park roar with excitement that I have not experienced since the days of Beardsley and Ginola. Quite simply he is, when on form, sensational. Unstoppable. Unplayable. Unsellable….?

You may think this is a negative article and is encouraging the wrong glances but let me tell you the world is sitting up and noticing Hatem Ben Arfa. Few players can beat so many men at ease, few can turn a game in a split second. Everyone wants a player of this class. Which is why for me signing him up to a long contract much like we did with Tiote is more important than Demba Ba.

I am not discrediting Demba Ba’s contribution this year. He has been nothing short of magnificent but as good as he is can he be replaced? I would argue he could but what about Ben Arfa? You are struggling probably as much as I am to see many players who can match his skill and ability.

Can I just add that the Newcastle owners do deserve a hell of a lot of credit to sign him up permanently when he was out injured for a year was a massive gamble, and for a measly £5m! How good does that look now? You have to admire that, yet another transfer masterstroke.

It is about time we all showed that we support this current regime. Lets be honest you earn respect and whilst they have not covered themselves with glory you cant hold it against them forever. Credit where credit is due if we can’t give it now when can we?



But for me the most credit should go to a Mr Alan Pardew. He held back and held back in playing Ben Arfa we all screamed for him to do so. Surely you play your best players? Pardew knew that building him up drumming into him the importance of defending as well as attacking, increasing his work rate, letting him get fitter with each game, would make a player that could be unstoppable. He has managed an ‘enfant terrible’ with ease.

And Ben Arfa has responded magnificently. Like all good managers, Pardew is playing down our successes and in reality with us 13 points ahead of Liverpool (13!) we are surely proving to the world of football that we are a force again, showing Andy Carroll and Jose Enrique we are European contenders.

So Hatem Ben Arfa, don’t worry my son! Newcastle will get you into Europe and beyond but we need you at the helm! Howay the Lads!

Comments welcome.

About Liam Southern Toon

Toon Fan. Aspiring Writer. Related to one of the NUFC ex players.

70 thoughts on “Why Hatem Ben Arfa needs to be our first signing in the summer

  1. where are these guys that were shouting for him to be sold in the summer?nothing in this game comes easy

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  2. Couldn’t agree more. I’m not worried about bids from other Premier League clubs, but bids from abroad. He has been key to our recent run and the jealous who once said, “He’s overrated, flatters to deceive” etc have now turned to saying things like, “You won’t be able to hold on to him, he will be gone in the summer” instead. This is worrying and I agree that we should offer him a two years extension as soon as. He will attract other top players to the club.

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  3. Ben Arfa is our talisman and a long term deal would be wise. However I think he is on one now isn’t he?

    Pardiola understands that at the Toon we love this type of player IE as he said gets bums off seats because we can get bums on them easy with our sell out followers

    Good point Liam

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  4. Icedog-Aye its funny, seems all quiet on that front now despite many claims that he’d never make it 🙄

    As for the article….to be honest he’s already on five years isn’t he? Which will be four after this season. Despite the ridiculous claims about our 20k a week wage cap I think its pretty clear Hatem will be one of the top earners, he would have been on a fair wedge at Marseille i’d say. So if he’s on 50k ish already with four years, will Ashley renegotiate another one? I’m not so sure. Maybe he could add more years on, but for someone who already suffered a double leg break would Ashley risk 7 years on the lad? Would he sign up?

    If I’m honest if Hatem keeps this kind of form I can see him going to another team, its just reality. I think he’d want to go as well, he says he wants to challenge at the very very top. Can we win the Champions League in 5 years? Then again, if we keep up the progress of this year….. 😆

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  5. I’m fearing him keeping up this rich vein of form until the end of the season, and the fat cats coming in flashing the reddies. We need to keep this fella and play to his strengths.

    I think we just need to make sure we qualify for Europe, which would give our current class players an incentive to stay, and also Fatty a reason to not sell anyone and invest further.

    Right, speaking of Europe, I’m not sure if I’ve got this right so would appreciate it if someone could clarify…

    Champions League – 4 places, 1,2,3,4 in League
    Europa League – 3 places, 5th in league +winner of League Cup and FA Cup.

    …so, currently Liverpool have a place, and the FA Cup winner will also get a place, along with 5th (considering permutations on league finishing).

    Current and possible final Premiership places and winners of both FA Cup and Champions League could play a part in the qualifications I.E. if the FA Cup winners also qualify for either Champions League or Europa then a place goes to the runners up, providing they don’t already qualify for the Champions League or the Europa League.(?)

    Also, if Chelsea finished outside the top 4 and won the Champions League, they’d take one of the 4 league places for CL and push 4th place into the Europa League, having a domino effect on the Premiership qualifications for the Europa League.(?)

    It’s all bloody confusing, I’m not really sure who to support in the cups any more! 😯

    Do we effectively want a Liverpool (already in Europa) v Spurs final, and Chelsea not to win the Champions League? If this happened, and the current Premiership table stayed as is, would it mean 6th place is up for grabs in Europa? Do we basically need Everton to not reach the final?

    I’d understand if nobody responded to this post, I probably wouldn’t. 😆

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  6. Newkie unfortunetly I do agree he will eventually go at some point. I would hope we get another 2 seasons out of him but he will go to big club in europe. Enjoy him while he is here. He is a special special player

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  7. Rodz :mrgreen:

    We need Liverpool in the final along with Spurs/Chelsea, it doesn’t really matter which as if either of them actually fall out the top 4 to fifth then they’d get Europa anyway and it would get pushed to us in 6th for example.

    And yes, we don’t want Chelsea winning the champions league! At all costs, Chelsea must lose :mrgreen:

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  8. Cheers Newks 😎

    …think I understand now 😆

    Gona be some twists and turns before this season’s over! 😯

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  9. Johno-exactly, as good as we can get in the next few years, Hatems ambitions are high, and with that kind of skill and quality can you blame him? I’d love for him to be a toon player for the rest of his life but I just can’t see it. I don’t think any of us could have any real complaints if Real Madrid or even Barca came in for him either, we simply can’t compete with that.

    We should try to sign him up for as long as we can, but when the tapping up begins,very few players can resist it, and few clubs can deflect the advances no matter how many years a player’s contract lasts. I guess for Ashley it will be about getting as large a sum as possible if we do sell him.

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  10. Rod Im not sure if Champions League winners get entry into next years competition. I remember when Shitpool won it they finished 5th in the league and the fa had to ask for special dispensation for them to enter it and they had to enter it and had to start at the early knock out stages.

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  11. I think it’s still early days, and we’ll probably get another season out of him before the wallets start opening. Can’t see him staying here more than another season though if he keeps improving an d avoids injury. Real or Barca will come in and offer him 200k a week, off like a rat up a drainpipe.

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  12. In one sense I’m kind of annoyed that Ashley had to change his mind in regards to transfers and the like only after he f*cked up.

    Think about it, if he’d come in with this philosophy we’d have saved money earlier on on the likes of Xisco….50k a week and 5mil transfer. Imagine what we could do with a few 5mil bids for players now…Really hope we don’t sell anyone this summer either.

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  13. Yeah Johno, I read something about that earlier when I was trying to make sense of it all ❓ …I’d imagine if they got ‘special dispensation’ once though it’d be likely to happen again, given the unliklihood of its occurrence(?) …Chelsea would be chucking massive toys oot the proverbial pram.

    …suppose the squad just need to focus on what’s above them. I bet Pardew’s told them not to think about all the possibilities and just win every game.

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  14. That is it Rod , if we can stay unbeaten in our last 5 games we are going to be there or there a bouts for a European spot regardless of what happens else where. If that is good enough its good enough. We cant influence what happens else where. I feel like Im an American with all that positive vibe talk 😆

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  15. [email protected] says:

    I believe that the UEFA had rectify the rules after giving Liverpool a special dispensation to defend their title. Currently, if Chelsea wins the Champions League, this would mean that us finishing 4th is rather meaningless, as it would only guarantee a Europa League spot.

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  16. WOOO! HAAY FAAAYV JARN BOY! 😯

    (apologies to our American chums) 😎

    …our game against Chelsea is gona be massive. Hopefully spuds will keep messing up, and Wolves will get sumik against Arsenal tonight, they’re fighting for their lives.

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  17. cheers [email protected], it’s crazy all this cup winning lark, especially runner up in FA cup. Like Pardew said earlier, to give a spot to a team who’s played well in 8 games or whatever it is, over a team who’s played well in 38 is ludicrous.

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  18. Completely agree we need HBA on a long deal.. as for the Europe charge, didn’t stoke qualify for europa league as runners up of FA cup as man city got champions league? So say chelsea or spurs finished in 4th spot ahead and us in 6th, and were to play liverpool in the final, would that not mean Everton qualify for the europa league as the 3rd placed team in FA cup? As everyone else is already in europe? (with spurs and chelsea occupying 4th and 5th) I could be completely wrong and think we will finish ahead of chelski but its just a thought. This is all too confusing for me 😆

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  19. JL, cheers for the input, my brain is now on fire 😆

    …think I’ll forget about it for a couple of weeks 😆

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  20. I think they changed the CL rules so that the Liverpool situation couldn’t happen again? So now Chelsea would go through hence then the English League only having three spots + Chelsea. If Chelsea won the league and the CL then we’d have four as usual for example, Chelsea + the remaining three.

    JL-Stoke qualified because they were in the final. If Everton get to the final they too will also qualify, unless Chelsea drop to 6th, we get the automatic etc etc. Would be woeful if we finish 6th and Everton got Europe in 7th 👿

    At the same time, they do need to offer something for the Cups, because otherwise it means fuck all for the rest of the football league….Still i’d rather we had it like :mrgreen:

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  21. As much as I’d hate to see him go, Ben Arfa is playing like a £40 million player right now. He could take us into the Champions League this season and next if he becomes more consistent. I’d hold out for that kind of offer from Real Madrid or Barca, then sell him in 2013, I love the lad and part of me wants him to wear the number 10 till he retires, but you have to remember this is how we’re taking the club forward. Buying gems for peanuts then selling them off to the moneybags clubs.

    Also, Ben Arfa’s personality will play a big part in whether he stays or goes. He may simply refuse to leave this summer. Remember Marseille didn’t want him to come to us but he made it happen. He’s a wild card on the transfer market so I think we’ll have him for another season.

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  22. Andy-40 million? Pah.

    Gareth Bale is apparently worth 140 million. Well, I’d have Benny over him so he must be worth say, 160mil? 😆 😆 😆

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  23. Finally I understand……… So liverpool to beat everton …… And barcalona to beat chelsea…….. Piece of cake!!!!!

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  24. Here’s the math.

    Assuming Chelsea does not win UCL (or wins UCL and manages top 4)-

    1. If Liverpool beats Everton Newcastle qualifies.

    2. If Everton beats Liverpool then:-

    a. Everton wins FAC, only 5th in EPL qualifies.

    b. Everton loses to Spurs/Chelsea, then (1) if Spurs/Chelsea as FAC winner also qualifies for UCL, Everton qualifies. (2) If Spurs/Chelsea as FAC winner gets 5th in the league, 6th in EPL (not Everton) qualifies.

    If Chelsea wins UCL and does not finish top 4

    1. If Liverpool beats Everton then 4th and 5th in league qualifies for Europa. If Chelsea is 5th, then 6th qualifies for Europa. In other words Newcastle qualifies Europa regardless.

    2. If Everton beats Liverpool then:-

    a. Everton wins FAC, only 4th in EPL qualifies for Europa.

    b. Everton loses to Chelsea, then Everton qualifies Europa. Only 4th in EPL qualifies Europa.

    c. If Everton loses to Spurs and Spurs gets 3rd (i.e. UCL spot), Everton qualifies and only 4th in EPL qualifies Europa. If Spurs gets 4th (i.e. Europa) then 5th qualifies (and 6th if Chelsea is 5th).

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  25. Just to confuse the issue a bit more about the European qualification rules, I don’t think it’s true that the FA cup runners up qualify for Europa if the winners have qualified for ‘either’ the Champions League or Europa. The rule only applies if the winners have qualified for the Champions League. If the winners themselves have only qualified for Europa, then a second Europa slot doesn’t go to the losing finalists – it goes to the next highest placed team in the league instead.

    So it wouldn’t be the end of the world if Everton got to the cup final, as long as they lost. For example, if Chelsea finished 5th and we finished 6th and Chelsea beat Everton in the final (and didn’t also win the CL trophy) then the final Europa place would go to us, not Everton.

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  26. :mrgreen: I have another question………….. The team that ends 4th needs to qualify for champions league….. How much games do they play to qualify who would they play against ….. And how much games would they have to win to reach the group stages

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  27. Newkie – Fair enough maybe that’s a bit optimistic, but 25-30 million could do our squad a lot of good. We could root out the future Tiotes, ben Arfas and Cissés.

    Also based on Carroll’s price tag, ben Arfa’s left hand is worth 35 million

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  28. In short, if Liverpool wins this weekend, Newcastle are in Europa regardless of ANY permutation.

    If Everton get to the FAC final but loses to Spurs/Chelsea who do not qualify for UCL then Newcastle are in Europa regardless of ANY permutation.

    In any other case, Everton qualifies for Europa and one of the top 6 will lose out.

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  29. hahaha, looks like I’ve created a monster 😯

    …thanks to all for explaining. I guess it’ll become easier to fathom as the season progresses. I’ll worry about it if we drop points. Hopefully we’ll just keep winning, and Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea won’t. Laters……. 😎

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  30. Ha ha a couple of good games from Benny and we suddenly don’t have him on a long enough contract. My goodnes how some can worry about things that haven’t happened yet. Just enjoy the moment for fecks sake and worry about him leaving when he is actually packing his bags…

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  31. Well lets keep it simple. Support Liverpool against Everton regardless. Support Barca/anyone else against Chelski regardless. Win all our matches. :mrgreen:

    Andy-Aye it is a bit optimistic but you know what I’m getting at. The market right now is insane, and quite frankly if Real or Barca became interested then i’d expect a price tag of over 40 mil, depending on his form/how many years he has left etc. But I’d rather keepa hold of him than pretty much any player in our side, if at all possible…Like you say we can always look for the new generation-but these “flair” players are the ones that get the eye early on and are often hard to root out.

    For instance-nobody knew Tiote because he plays the defensive role, one which is often unnoticed and certainly its quite unfashionable. That’s why it would be easier to sell Tiote for say, 20 mil and find another defensive mid than sell Benny for 40 mil and look for another player of his calibre.

    I want to keep all our squad, but the ones that we could replace most for big cash are probably Cabaye and Tiote….

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  32. No offence, but I think people are getting a bit worked up.

    He is playing fantastically well, and I do think he’ll continue it now, but it is only going to be about 10 good (some of them great) games for the lad by the end of the season. It is still just potential, albeit on the very edge of being realised.

    Only idiots like Livershite spend £35m on players based on a good 10 games.

    You also have to remember that we stuck by the lad and signed him when he had a broken leg. That will surely buy us a bit of loyalty back from him.

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  33. The lad does have a somewhat troublesome reputation and if his performances won’t have gone unnoticed by the likes of Man U and Arsenal. Will he want to move or demand a move if they come in for him?

    I would absolutely offer him a new improved contract as per Tiote. I wouldn’t be surprised if their talking now actually.

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  34. The fact is that Ben Arfa is basically unsellable at this point. His somewhat troubled past coupled with a relatively small sample size of success (as Jon R points out) will keep any club from offering a fortune for him. And the club isn’t going sell such a difference maker unless they are completely blown away by a ridiculous Carroll-like offer. No way the club wants to risk being the club that sold a player that could turn out to be world class in every sense. Plus the lad is happy here and doesn’t seem poised to force a move. Two years from now and we’re not in europe, who knows.

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  35. I think we will need to see where we finish. There are three potential outcomes…. 1. Everton beat Liverpoop and Chelsea beat us to 5th (20% likely) we will probably struggle to keep the likes of Tiote. 2. Liverpool beat Everton OR we beat Chelsea/Spurs to 5th. Europa league, we will need a bigger squad and more players could probably be expected to stay. (60%) or 3. We beat Spurs and Chelsea to 4th and get champions league qualification round. Probably all the players would stay and we can attract better players. (20%)

    Im not even going to factor in Chelsea winning the champions league before they beat Barcelona (which they won’t)

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  36. I really hope Benny doesn’t get hit by a bus in the off season, it really worries me. Also he might be involved in an air disater, that worries me too. He may even get kidnapped, that worries me as well. He might slip in the bathroom and hurt his back, now that is worrying. There is so many things to worry about that might not even happen but it is a concern 🙂

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  37. Good read and yeah he is a star, but don’t think there is any big rush to sign him on for longer just yet.
    Also agree with Ice and other where have the lets get shot of him squad go.

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  38. I love Benny as much as the next person but with his injury/past records I think he needs to resist the advances of any suiters this summer and play regularly next season before we offer him a bigger contract. We stuck by him, now he should stick by us for a bit IMHO.

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  39. Shit.. Walt Disney had cryo treatment and look how he ended up… it certainly doesn’t sound good for Demba…

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  40. DJG-Agree with that, I can’t see him being off this summer anyway, doubt any ridiculous bids would come in now.

    Aussie-Disney was a mess beforehand like 😉

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  41. In all seriousness what would a longer better paying contract achieve? They are not worth the paper they are printed on. If a cashed up club like man city came in for him, the whole argument is a mute point. No contract can keep a player at a club, no matter how good it is…We have all seen it time and time again, players come and players go..

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  42. I already support Barca(second club), got a barca strip(messi) and everything :mrgreen: My third team is borrussia dortmund (Just cus I once bought Subotic from them in FIFA and he was mint, instantly became my favourite player) 😆

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  43. Aussie-all it would do really is inflate the price. Give it a few years and if Benny is playing as well as he is now he would deserve more than he is on now, and when theres 2/3 years left to run it would make sense to renew it. The only thing it would do now is increase his price imo

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  44. AMF
    A longer contract means that a team will have to pay more for a player to buy out their contract so, if tiote had two deals left someone could bid £15-20m and we’d probably except, he’s got 4/5 years left though so we can ask for £30m+

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  45. What I like most about the situation we are in is that, we don’t need Europe. The other clubs around us have spent a lot of money and will be in trouble if they don’t qualify, but we won’t get stressed about it :mrgreen:

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  46. But we would still lose him Newkie.. It would not keep him here. So what would it matter to any fan if we got 5m extra than we would have got orginally. I am struggling to see any point for raising any unnessesary hysteria regarding Benny leaving.

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  47. I get the mathmatics Andy 🙂 but I care more about him spending a few years here than I do about making sure we clean up on any deal. So a longer contract would mean feck all to me if he left. So in my mind contracts don’t amount to much at all.

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  48. I reckon length of contract only makes much difference when a player goes into his last year, i.e you won’t get anymore for a player with 5 years left than you would for a player with 3 years left. Also I’ve mentioned it before but “if” UEFA manage to enforce the ffp rules, transfer fees will have to tumble, £10m fees will become the new £35m 😉 ….also Benny hasn’t done anywhere near enough to have the likes of Real Madrid or Barca give him a second thought imo.

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  49. Ice…and PSG probably, I have my doubts the FFP rules will work and even if they do, the big teams will still be the big teams and will still dominate on the whole 🙄

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  50. I dont see ben arfa wanting to leave,after he took matter in his own way and come to newcastle and telling that he will never play for OM anymore. 😆

    And lads,i do see chelsea beating barcelona. 😯 But they will never win the final. 😉

    The 21st April fixture day is a huge day,the fact that arsenal v chelsea means that,we hope it end up a draw,with chelsea dropping more points before we meet them,we dont even need to worry even we lose to them cum May 2nd. 😉

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  51. Well much as I don’t want Benny to be sold there is no point in us worrying about it at the moment .If experience is anything to go by ,if a player wants to leave and a club makes a silly offer ,he’ll go I have no doubt of that.Sadly there is very little loyalty to clubs anymore and that’s the bottom line.Players like Benny and Cisse ,Cabaye and Krul and Ba all aspire to play at the top level which is understandable and if we don’t consistantly offer European football I think they will soon become restless. I am aware that it wasn’t on offer when they arrived but the point is Toon was their way into the EPL and a way to get themselves noticed .We took a chance on them ,they came relatively cheap in the hope of building a sucessful team that would make it into Europe albeit a year or so ahead of schedule. It’s how much sucess we can obtain consistantly which Ibelieve will determine who hangs around for the long term.

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  52. It won’t make any difference to whether he leaves or not if they give him a contract extension now.
    It could make a large difference to how much money is taken as a fee.

    Why would any Newcastle not want the club to protect their investment I’m the player?

    If the contract offer is enough it may put off potential buyers from trying to lowball for him. Ben Arfa stays – Win for Newcastle.
    If it doesn’t put off clubs they will have to make much more substantial offers – Ben Arfa goes but large fee recouped. Win for Newcastle.

    Why would anyone resist contract talks when the outcome can only be positive for Newcastle?

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