The French star is undoubtedly one of the Magpies’ most talented individual players, and has proven on multiple occasions in the past that he has the skill necessary to bamboozle even the most experienced defenders.
However, in his 22 league outings this term he has managed just three goals and appeared to be out of sorts after being omitted from the starting XI on a number of occasions.
This has irked some of his senior team-mates, who are understood to have voiced their frustrations to manager Alan Pardew.
They are aware that the 27-year-old is a fine player, but his lack of work rate off of the ball and in training is seen as a major drawback.
Ben Arfa has long been praised by Pardew for his displays, and was tipped to step up and fill the creative void left by Yohan Cabaye after he joined PSG in January.
The Newcastle boss recently admitted that his attacking star has been off of the boil, but he believes that he’ll come good:
“If he’s going to play, he has to gain the trust of not just me but of our players that he’s the real deal.
“We’ve given him a fitness programme because, in the last few games he played for us, he didn’t play very well by his own admission. His confidence is a little low and his fitness was a bit low for whatever reason.”