Is the time right to offer Ben Arfa a new deal?

Time to nail down Benny?
Time to nail down Benny?
Hatem Ben Arfa has been attracting the interest of Liverpool if reports in the press are anything to go by.

Generally speaking they aren’t anything to go by, but because it would be bad news losing such a talented player these rumours seem to carry more weight than if, say, a good rumour was published by the papers.

Whether Liverpool or anyone else are interested or not or whether a move to such a club is as appealing as once was is not the area I want to discuss. What I want to look at is whether the time has come now to offer Hatem Ben Arfa a new deal, to protect ourselves more than anything else.

The fact is that if an offer comes in for one of our players above and beyond our valuation of them then they will be sold. I’m not making that up, we’ve heard often enough from the likes of Derek Llambias that we’re “open for business” although I get the feeling that to open the exit doors an offer for a player will have to be an extremely good one.

Ben Arfa will only have two years remaining on his current deal come the summer. He will be 26 years old and should have his prime years in front of him. Would it not then make sense to tie him down for the long-term, similar to what we’ve done with other players?


A few weeks ago Ben Arfa was making noises about the club showing a bit of ambition. Judging by his most recent words and his proclamation that he can win things at Newcastle I’m assuming that he’s happy enough with what has been achieved in the transfer market in January. He also seems happy with his manager, again judging by his own words. He doesn’t seem to be clambering to get away.

However how happy would he be should a team come in for him that pricks his interest? I’m talking a real current heavyweight of the game, a team you can’t really say no to that play in the Champions League regularly and challenge for trophies every season. Or say a club he has a strong feeling for, like PSG, come in for him. What then?

You could argue that all of his ambition could be achieved right here under certain circumstances, but it would take a significant change of circumstances in my humble opinion. Nothing wrong with trying of course, but the reality is that instant success is very appealing when a career is, relatively speaking, so short.

A new long-term deal for Ben Arfa would benefit us in this scenario. It would ensure that Hatem is tied down for his best years should we be able to fulfil his trophy ambitions, and it would also ensure we get top dollar should a club decide to try and test our resolve.

Sign him up now!

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

57 thoughts on “Is the time right to offer Ben Arfa a new deal?

  1. Definitely. I said before, the best thing this club can do this summer is sign benny up and get him comitted. Then we can sign that Messi bloke people rave about and see if he’s actually as good as Benny…. 😯

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  2. Personally I don’t buy this long contract = long stay stuff. Contracts are worth jack in reality and if a player wants to go then inevitably they will end up going sooner or later. The only thing they really protect is the club who can then demand more money in event of a sale so in that case it makes sense to sign him up. Like I said in the article, then if he stays we have protection and if he goes we’ll get more dollar for him.

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  3. Toonsy – I think the timing is right to start discussing a new contract now. We don’t want it running down under 2yrs as that will have rival teams sniffing. Plus you then run the risk of Benny seeing his contract out and looking to leave on a free at 27 – his prime, he coins it in, another team reap the rewards and were left with nowt. At least at this stage in his contract we can establish Bennys intentions. If he wants to stay then sign him up. If he doesn’t then I’d look to sell him and at least get some good money for him now to replace him, rather than loose him for peanuts or nowt.

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  4. A contract extension means nowt except we will get more money for them IF they were to be sold.

    The Liverpool link is typical press bollocks, why the fuck would he want to go there? He’s obviously very happy here, and it would take a club of the PSG, Barca,Real mould to really make his head turn IMHO. Plus they are the teams with the money to do it.

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  5. Whether he stays for the length of a new contract or not is a mute point to some effect. It’s the message it sends to the rest of the players that really counts. If he signs a new deal, it will send a buzz thru the playing group and will hopefully encourage others to stay.

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  6. Toonsy – i agree about the long term contract does not guarantee long term commitment, and like you pointed out in the article, if we get offered a huge amount for him we’d probably sell anyway.
    The long term contract would simply allow us to have more say into when he goes and how much for. Like I say, I’d hate to hang on only to find we loose him for nowt at 27.

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  7. Toonsy good read and I agree we need to work on getting him signed up.
    Aussie I agree with you, the message it sends out to the others would be good for us,
    The same as the way our older players have had a lift from us strengthening the team as IMO you can see the players look a lot happier from the window, you can even see that they’re getting their fighting spirit back that seemed to have disappeared them at the start of the season.

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  8. at the end of season …talk to benny give him a contract extension with clauses big sell out fee …if psg come in for him . feel he is settled here but would like to get him signed for another 5 years …now is the time with cab debucy mbai and sissoko here..

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  9. I say tie him down. With that I do think Pardew will have a Ba/Cisse problem with Sissoko / HBA. One will suffer not sure who, I suspect Sissoko but it would greatly benefit HBA with more goals coming from him and less from Sissoko.

    Not sure where HBA would fit in, I think he would be wasted on the wing and so would Sissko. Guffran Already occupies one wing. A defensive mid would need to be sacrificed.

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  10. Im having a bit of a mind fart this morning. What’s the crack with players who will be available on a free in the summer? – as in, are we legally allowed to approach them now or do we have to wait til their contract is run down.
    I’m thinking Puncheon again, and getting him signed now if we are allowed.

    Aussie – I agree with you regarding the message it would send out to the rest of the players as well. When Colo and Krul signed last season it was a huge coup and sent a really positive feeling throughout the whole club.

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  11. michael @12 …dont see any problem with both playing ..in fact looking forward to seeing them together ..sissoko seems the more adaptable so cannot see problem …liked tiote in front of cabaye chasing down defenders and cabaye controlling game .just need to fit in sissoko benny goufran and cisse …nice for pardieu to have this problem with marv and gutti also in frame..noticed alnick on subs does that mean harper inj (or just flu ?)

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  12. Agree with Aussie,
    Its more the signal of intent and ambition than keeping him here. If he wants to go he will, but it does mean his value increases.

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  13. Michael12 – I actually see HBA being the missing piece to Pardews French jigsaw at the moment to be honest with you mate, with the midfield looking like this:

    ——- Cabaye — Tiote ——-
    – Benny – Sissoko – Gouffran –
    ————– Cisse ————–

    Benny and Gouffran can switch flanks whenever they like and equally push forward and support Cisse. Tiote seems to play better with Cabs next to him. Cabs seems to be more effective playing abit deeper and picking the through balls for Gouffran, Sissoko and Cisse at the mo, and will for Benny when he’s back.
    I think we have a hellish 1st team 11 now like, we just need to strengthen the back up 11.

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  14. Sharpy,
    I’m with you, I know what Michael is getting at because he sees Ben Arfa as a natural number 10.
    Personally I don’t think he’s mature enough as a footballer for that role yet.

    I think Ben Arfa is more effective cutting in from the right and even swapping positions with Gouffran to come in from the left.

    If anything if Ben Arfa does drift inside, Sissoko has the tendency to pull out to the right, so I actually have the complete opposite opinion to Michael 12.

    I think they will compliment each other superbly. The entire front three behind Cisse. Gouffran has the workrate, running and pace, Sissoko has the power, drive, passing and pace, while Ben Arfa has the skill, speed and is unpredictable.

    My only concern is whether Pard’s has the balls to play that offensively. Or whether is will stick to his guns and play Jonas out wide in his defensive winger role.

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  15. Good article Toonsy. Let’s negotiate a new contract now and one for Cabaye.

    Don’t see any problem with playing Ben Arfa with Sissoko, Gouffran and Cisse. These players showed on Sunday that they are mobile and interchangeable. That’s where their strength lies. Unsettles the opposition. Anyway given Jonas’ recent form we have been playing without a right winger for some time.

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  16. TAE – deadly serious mate. 4 goals 6 assists so far this season compared to Marveaux 1 goal 3 assists or Obertan 0 goals 2 assists (EPL only)

    Puncheon may not score a boat load of goals but he’d nick afew and he’d certainly create goals too.
    I’m talking about a free transfer who would provide better cover to Benny and Gouffran than what we already have. The goals would come from the CF we get in the summer, hopefully PEA or RVW.

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  17. It seems to me Benny is happy at the Toon and the same as Cabaye must be overjoyed at the recent signings. I don’t think either will be in a hurry to leave this summer. They’re playing with half the French team!
    By all means offer him a contract extension but as Toonsy says that means bugger all these days.

    Any player, anywhere will jump ship for Barca, Real and PSG. City and United even. Liverpool – no.

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  18. Yeah, give him 4 years. Get Cabs signed up long term too, he’s more important than Benny in my eyes. Clearout of some of our failed youth players this summer, spend up front and plugging the holes left in the squad – like when Simmo goes etc. I want tosee Campbell either ou on loan at a good Championsgip side next season or playing more games here. Wil not be happy if he’s just left to stagnate in the Reserves.

    Xisco is a given. Gosling, Sammi, Abeid & Amalfitano can go for me.

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  19. Big Summer ahead for the club. After a poor season (in all honesty) we will have to work hard to keep Cabaye and Ben Arfa. At the minute they are the 2 players that could play for any team in the league.

    The Club need to strengthen further i.e a Striker.

    But look at the big teams, City, Chelsea, Arsenal are all crying out for a Cabaye in midfield.

    And, all teams could use a Ben Arfa type.

    Got to be really careful, a repeat of last Summer will see a repeat of this Season.

    Let’s hope the board have heard of the “repeating the same mistakes everytime, results in the same outcome” saying…

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  20. I would like a new Striker but looking at our formation where will he play?

    The only player in the front 6 i see being replaced is Gouffran

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  21. well imo if we get benny to sign a new deal it might mean jonas days in the team will be limited or even might be moved on along with colo at seasons end two big earners off the wage bill and making room for a couple of new players coming in,on another note the rags are saying m/u are going after cabaye as they can offer him CL footy strange didnt he leave a team in the CL to come to toon

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  22. Aye Cabs needs signed up as well. He’s a big player for us but also his influence in the signings of Debuchy and the other French boys in Jan was huge IMO. He’d also be my Capt if/when Colo dicks off in the summer.

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  23. It might not mean that much on paper, but getting someone like Benny to sign such a long deal protects us financially. That in turn lessens the likelihood of clubs attempting to tap him up when his contract is low-rather than fork out the 40+mil it would take to get him. That, theoretically, should keep Benny more focused on us 😉 We all know we’ll sell anyway for mega monies, can’t have too many complaints about that strategy.

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  24. Cabaye will stay, we won’t get a ridiculous offer for him. We may get a few solid offers but I doubt it will be enough to make us sell. We would have to spend a heap to replace him if we did sell him and I don’t see how the club could really proffit.

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  25. Ice, we have done well thanks to Mr Carr but it won’t always be the case… Also it won’t always be practical to wait until players are in the final year of their contracts to get them cheap.

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  26. RICHIE you will be able to go to more toon games soon,toon are putting slides in so dont worry about blocking the exits 😀 😀

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  27. @Sharpy17: that looks like a fire set up. In honesty Ashley has quietly building an team of internationals.

    I hope I am wrong. My main concern with the return of HBA would be his knowing when to pass and when to take on a defender. Sometimes he tries to take on too much when a simple pass would have better.

    It is an exciting prospect to see such a line up. Can’t wait.

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  28. [email protected] bloody negger 😆

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  29. i would love to sign simpson up, just encase dubacy gets injured. would love ben arfa to sign a contract extension but what if he demands more money like ba? we have good competition for places. we need a striker so cisse will have to improve or be dropped. there is real promise in the team at last and i think top 6 next year is in our grasp, maybe sneak 4th.

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  30. cannot understand fans even thinking of dropping cissie all players go through bad spells just look at the lad at everton he could not stop scoring last season,this season he cannot hit a barn door and costing them a CL place,it happens

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  31. so if you had a striker that was better than cisse you wouldn’t put him in the team and bring cisse on as a sub? i know every striker has a bad patch!

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  32. Michael 12
    I think Ben Arfa may have been trying too much on his own because he feels it was the teams best chance of scoring.
    Its a bad attitude and it doesn’t work or benefit the team on the whole, but I think we may see a less selfish player now that he has quality and more options around him.

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  33. JJ/Michael-Are you criticising Benny for this seasons performances? Honestly thought he was one of our top performers, Santon probably had more consistency but it was Benny dragging us forwards. He will always be a semi selfish player but if you don’t accept that you’ll never see his wonder goals-be they screamers or dribbles…

    Assuming Cisse will remember the offside rule and will regain his touch (I have faith) then I have no worries about his supply, what I most look forward to is the link up play between him and Sissoko…if they can hit it off we will have a great side.

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  34. JJ @ 40

    That is obviously true. It also makes a much bigger headache for our opposition.
    Now if Ben Arfa has the ball opposing teams will have to be more careful about sending two or three players over to mark him or take him out because it could create gaps for Sissoko and Gouffran.
    Both of these players look quick enough, strong enough, intelligent enough and skillful enough to exploit any gaps they might be given.

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  35. Ice-It’s not just the dropping for form, its the fact people want us to go and buy a striker to REPLACE him 😯 Madness how he can go from one of our best to playing for the ressies in the minds of some 😕

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  36. Toonsy ,good read , Got to say yes get him signed up as no doubt a few will be sniffing around and for Cabs too I reckon . At least then if they must go we will be well recompensed and able to afford a decent replacement. Tbh I don’t see either really wanting away with the influx of french talent newly arrived but with PSG or one of our top 4 attempting to get them it’s imperative we protech ourselves .
    [email protected] ,Totally agree about Benny ,I too think he thought he needed to try to do it all alone due to a lack of technically gifted players to help him. It will be interesting to see his approach with the new guys around him.

    [email protected] All valid points on which I agree.

    From previous blog [email protected] and [email protected] ,Cheers guys.

    Just got round to watching MOTD2 ,was impressed with Gouffran in sundays match and Cisse scored a cracker though I see they say it was tecnically offside 🙄 .Loved Goofy’s little step overs in the build up to his pass to Sissoko for his goal 😎 😀

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  37. icedog- your missing the point. we need to buy a striker in the summer to have competition for places up front! at prescent no ones better than cisse. i think if we get a striker in the summer, we will be a really good side!

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  38. Newkie, to me, what we need is a quick and agile young striker. We don’t need to spend megabucks on that position. I quite like our first 11 now, its the quality of the players we have on the subs bench we need to improve now.
    Cisse is already showing signs of improvement. Two disallowed against Metallist, that goal against Southampton. Some of his general play has been very good at times with him being involved in key moves for others to score goals too.
    He does need to improve his tendancy to drift offside but hopefully that will be being worked on on the training ground and may improve as our new players get more time on the pitch together.

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  39. A lot of Cisse’s offsides are because he isn’t paying enough attention but there are a heap the result from our mids not releasing the ball early enough. Cisse had to check a heap of his runs on the weekend due to the ball not being played early. It’s not all his fault imo.

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  40. AMF i think wor al should have played more in midfield,then he could have made more goals for himself 😀 😀 😀 😀

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  41. Yeah, Aussie, thats what I was alluding to.
    We have made big changes to our team and the players need playing time together to get used to each other.
    It was one of the reasons I wanted Cisse to be up front and Sissoko to play in the second leg against Metallist.

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  42. Ice/Newkie – I’ve been calling for us to buy 2 CFs in the summer. I’m a huge fan of Cisse and was laughing at me mate at the weekend. He slated Cisse for his miss when Goof played it across the box and Cisse mis-controlled it, spun and got a really poor shot away. My mate went crackers at him, calling him all sorts. Then Cisse scored his wonder goal and Cisse was the most deadly CF in the league according to him 🙄
    I’d still go with Cisse, but I think we depend too heavily on him now. Shola isn’t good enough and Campbell is still a couple of seasons away for me like. If we signed PEA and say Austin for example it would provide strength in depth and a bit of variety amongst our forward options.

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  43. Pootle-I agree on that type of striker, I said we needed a winger/forward and I think we got one in goof, but one with pace who is willing to come on from the Bench would be great-seems fairly clear Campbell isn’t in Pards first or reserve team plans and hopefully will go on a season loan next year.

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  44. SHARPY i would go along with the Pea mate as he can play wide if need be to but would HE be happy with that?we have seen it didnt work for cissie

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