Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

No Return for Hatem, Whois Yet to Prove Worth at Tigers

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

No Return for Hatem, Whois Yet to Prove Worth at Tigers

Article excerpt

Byline: Lee Ryder Chief Sports Writer twitter: @lee_ryder

HATEM BEN Arfa will not be offered a route back to Newcastle United after failing to set the world alight at Hull City.

Sources at the KC Stadium have confirmed that there is a clause in his contract that entitles the Tigers to send him back to St James.'.

Ben Arfa and Steve Bruce have played down talk of a fall-out.

But while the idea of the Frenchman returning to Newcastle had been floated, Ben Arfa's hopes of turning things around on Tyneside would be slim.

For all Alan Pardew's problems with the player last season it was senior stars at the club who didn't want him on the scene this term.

Pardew was actually willing to give him one last chance but knew that he wasn't working hard enough to justify a place in his team anyway.

Ben Arfa's struggles at the KC Stadium have not resulted in any concrete evidence that United are missing out on anything special.

And whether he is even plying his trade in the Premier League next year is doubtful, with a move overseas the likely outcome for a player who has sadly not lived up to his full potential. United fans would have loved to see Ben Arfa turn things round, but the reality is that a lack of work-rate seems to have cost him dear - as Steve Bruce is finding out to his cost. The Tigers boss said: "Hatem Ben Arfa - it hasn't worked just yet.

"The people that we brought in to give us that extra dimension - it hasn't quite happened yet, but we have to give it time."

At the centre of another controversial moment, Ben Arfa moved quickly to halt talk of a bust-up with Bruce.

Ben Arfa said this week: "I just wanted to clarify my situation. I don't have any problem with my manager.

"He is someone that I like a lot and who I respect and admire."

Back to square one then, and Ben Arfa still hasn't had a decent game for the Tigers as we head into the last two weeks of December.

He's played eight games and hasn't scored or managed an assist. …

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