A good crowd turned out for Newcastle Reserves’ Whitley Park clash with Reading on Monday, with many seeing it as the last chance to watch Hatem Ben Arfa
Hatem Ben Arfa may be on his way out of St James’ Park, but it would appear that many Newcastle fans would be willing to give the Frenchman another chance at the club.
The former Lyon and Marseille attacker was linked with a move away from the club this summer, after falling out with manager Alan Pardew at the back end of last season.
Ben Arfa was rumoured to have been involved in a dressing room altercation with the Magpies boss, in a clash that saw the tricky midfielder banished from the first team and put up for transfer at the end of the season.
The 27-year-old had been linked with a move to Liverpool earlier in the summer but, with no bid forthcoming from the Reds, the Middle East emerged as a potential destination for the Clairefontaine Academy graduate.
His playing days at Newcastle certainly appear to be numbered, with Pardew already moving to strip Ben Arfa of the coveted no.10 shirt.
But despite his St James’ Park exodus, the Frenchman has retained some fans it would seem, with Lee Ryder from the Chronicle reporting that many turned up on Bank Holiday Monday to see the reserves in action against Reading.
A crowd of 415 were in attendance at Whitley Park – the home of Northern League outfit West Allotment Celtic – with one banner bearing the likeness of Ben Arfa as Che Guevara spotted by the news provider.
And while Ben Arfa largely impressed those in attendance, the limelight belonged to youngster Adam Armstrong, after the 17-year-old striker netted a hat-trick against Reading.
With Newcastle struggling for goals after drawing a blank in their two Premier League fixtures so far this season, while the Frenchman may be far from a recall, on this form Armstrong could yet be in line for a top-flight bow this term.