Didier Digard welcomes Newcastle United outcast Hatem Ben Arfa to Nice

Newcastle Stand

Hatem Ben Arfa is all set to have a loan spell with Nice.

Newcastle United's Hatem Ben Arfa trained with Ligue 1 side Nice over the weekend as discussions loomed over how best to accommodate his move to the South-Coast side.

It comes after the mercurial playmaker was released early from his season long loan spell with Hull City, after a string of less than impressive performances.

One man who will be looking forward to teaming up with Ben Arfa is a former Middlesbrough flop.

In the summer of 2008 Middlesbrough brought in plenty of interesting players. They snapped up Sanli Tuncay, Mido and then smashed their transfer record for Afonso Alves.

They also signed a talented Frenchman called Didier Digard from Paris Saint-Germain to replace the departing Lee Cattermole, for a cost of £4 million..

His stay was not happy. Digard played just 23 Premier League games for the club, most of those appearances coming as a substitute and after Boro suffered relegation he was loaned out to Nice in January 2010, a deal that became permanent.

Now he is still at Nice and is one of several players happy to have Ben Arfa at the club. However, despite being pleased to see Ben Arfa in Nice colours, he also made it clear to the team that they could not simply rely on the Frenchman to be their saviour:

"If Hatem comes then that is a good thing, but it cannot be on Hatem to solve all of Nice's problems."

If he has more of an impact than Digard did at Boro, or he did himself at Hull, then this deal will be a success.

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