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Newcastle announce loan of Hatem Ben Arfa

Newcastle have announced the signing of Hatem Ben Arfa on an initial season-long loan deal from Marseille.

Ben Arfa, a French international, went on strike at L'OM in order to get a move away from the club and weeks of negotiations eventually came to a head on Saturday when his loan was approved.

After signing for Newcastle, Ben Arfa said: "It was always my first choice to come here and I'm delighted to be here. I've paid real attention to the history of the club and the great players to have played for it, and particularly the supporters and I want to showcase my skills in Newcastle.

"All I'm waiting for is to show what I can do in front of the public in Newcastle. A lot of my friends in France already know the fans' reputation. The stadium has an ambience that is unique and I feel very lucky to have his opportunity."

Magpies manager Chris Hughton said: "Hatem is a player who we have been tracking for a long time, and what is important is that he is not only a young player who should continue to improve, but somebody who already has a great reputation in the game.

"We think he will add flair to the squad and we're confident he'll fit in well with the team that we have put together here. He will, I am sure, prove to be a great addition.

"He won't be available to face Wolves at the weekend, but he'll come into my thinking for the next game at home to Blackpool. He's someone who will excite the fans here, who of course have always identified with skilful, attacking players.''

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