Benzema: Ben Arfa good enough to play with Messi at Barcelona

Karim Benzema France

France striker Karim Benzema has claimed that Hatem Ben Arfa is good enough to play alongside Lionel Messi at Barcelona.

The talented Ben Arfa has been tipped to leave Newcastle United this summer after a reported fallout with manager Alan Pardew.

Ben Arfa started his season brightly for the Magpies, but fell out of favour with the Newcastle boss, and the Frenchman could be set for pastures new.

Speaking to reporters at the World Cup, Les Bleus forward Benzema, who is a close friend of Ben Arfa, talked up the talents of the winger and thinks that he is good enough to turn out with Messi at Barca.

Benzema explained that Ben Arfa's technical ability is second to none and reasoned that it is only his mentality that is stopping him from realising his potential as one of the world's best players.

"If Hatem had followed the path that was promised to him, today he would play in Barcelona with Messi," said the Real Madrid forward.

"Technically, he is identical. Hereafter, he has other problems. He needs to work in his head not to drop off."

Meanwhile, Ben Arfa's agent Michel Ouazine has dismissed suggestions that his client will move to the Middle East.

"This is false. He remains on a one-year contract at Newcastle and Hatem has the intention to continue to play in Europe," he told L'Equipe

Ben Arfa made 27 appearances last term and scored just three goals as Pardew's men ended up finishing 10th in the Premier League.

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