Hatem Ben Arfa could be on the team sheet to play Sunderland in the big derby this weekend.
Hatem Ben Arfa has been one of the best players for Newcastle United this season, which has attracted the reported interest of Liverpool who seem to be intent on signing him by the time the summer transfer window opens.
Ben Arfa was expected to be out of action for the rest of the season with a troublesome hamstring problem, which he has been carrying for a very long period of time. However, he has been tipped to return for the big derby against Sunderland this weekend.
That is one of the only things which would have put potential buying clubs off from forcing through a deal as quickly as possible, if the side were seriously interested in signing the Frenchman this summer. In short, they wouldn't have wanted to buy an injured player.
However, his imminent return may aid Newcastle in the short term but it could damage them heading into next season because clubs now have a clear indication that they won’t be buying someone who is carrying an injury.
Chelsea and Arsenal have both been linked with buying him, as have Liverpool, who could try to use Andy Carroll somehow in any offer.
Alan Pardew has never selected players unless they have been completely fit and ready to play, which was demonstrated during the spell when the side were waiting for Yohan Cabaye to regain his full fitness.
Newcastle suffered through that period and they could have rushed Cabaye back into the team, but Pardew has never been the sort of manager to take that chance in important Premier League matches.
Ben Arfa is one of Newcastle's key players, and with very big games at home to play for, having him available is a big plus for the club, but the Toon also want him to stick with them for next season.
Ben Arfa’s return means that to a certain extent, he’s right back in the shopping window which gives Liverpool, and any other interested party, more time to view and study their potential new signing.
Alan Pardew has proven to be very knowledgeable when it comes to the transfer market, and the club has always held out for the best value deals, especially for their most important players, but some superb late performances from Ben Arfa could cause the club a bit of a headache over the summer they would prefer to do without.
How important is Ben Arfa to Newcastle?
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