The Newcastle United manager has defended his decision to let the Frenchman and teammate Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa leave the club on loan this summer.
Alan Pardew appears to have no regrets over the departures of Hatem Ben Arfa and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, after appearing to seemingly question their commitment to the Newcastle United cause in a recent press conference.
Ben Arfa sealed a last-minute move to Hull City on loan late on transfer deadline day, having fallen out of a favour with the Magpies manager amid rumours of several dressing-room bust-ups between the pair.
Yanga-Mbiwa, meanwhile, moved to AS Roma in Serie A on loan, having failed to hold down a first-team place at St James’ Park under Pardew.
And while some fans have moved to question the decision to allow the pair to depart, with Newcastle enduring something of a difficult start to the current season, Pardew remains steadfast in his assessment of the situation.
"It would have been an easy decision to keep him," he said.
"But you have to make tough decisions, and I made the decision because I think the players we have here have a love and a passion for the club, the shirt and for the fans.
"They want to win for them, and that’s very important in the modern game."
Pardew was keen to point out that neither player was a first-team regular and that he did not see the sale of Ben Arfa to Premier League rivals Hull as something he would live to regret.
When asked to clarify his comments on the “love and passion” required at the club, and whether Yanga-Mbiwa and Ben Arfa such qualities, Pardew remained cautious in his approach.
"I don’t know – I’m only talking about the players who are still here," he said.
"But what I do know is that this group, and that’s all I’m talking about now, have a real love and passion for the club."
Newcastle head to Southampton on Saturday with the Toon still looking for a first win of the season in the Premier League, having picked up just two points from the first nine available in the top-flight.
Magpies fans may have unhappy memories from their most recent trip to St Mary’s with Newcastle losing 4-0 to the Saints.
Do you think Pardew will regret letting either one of Ben Arfa or Yanga-Mbiwa go?