Alan Pardew has called on Hatem Ben Arfa to step up and fill the gap left in Newcastle’s starting XI left by Yohan Cabaye.
The French winger has been a peripheral figure at St James’ Park this term, but he made a return to the Magpies’ first-team during the 0-0 draw with Norwich.
With Cabaye having completed his long-awaited £20m move to Paris Saint-Germain during the week, the ‘Toon’ are now devoid of, arguably, their most influential player heading into the latter half of the season.
Ben Arfa has displayed his talents in the iconic black and white jersey on many occasions, but he has failed to perform to the best of his abilities on a consistent basis due, in part, to injuries.
Pardew says that with Cabaye now gone, Ben Arfa will be given a chance to shine and that he must take it:
“I have said to him, ‘You have been waiting and you have been patient’, because he has conducted himself well in and around the building and his temperament has been great,” he is quoted by Sky Sports.
“Now his time has come and, in football, you have to take the moment when it arrives.
“It’s a blow to lose Cabaye, and I think we are all aware of losing that creative influence
“But we need to lean on other members of our staff if we don’t get a replacement, and in particular Sammy, Marveaux, Hatem, those creative influences who have been on the sidelines.”