Hatem Ben Arfa had everything at Newcastle - except the one thing he needed most

The 27-year-old's career on Tyneside came to an end yesterday evening as his contract was officially terminated.

And so comes to pass the age of Hatem Ben Arfa at Newcastle United.

It was a long, drawn-out - and painful - conclusion to the Frenchman's time on Tyneside, as the 27-year-old sought to prove himself at Hull City before eventually leaving Newcastle.

Naturally, Ben Arfa failed at the KC Stadium, for the very reason he failed at Newcastle: the very reason that his talent has most likely been wasted for good.

What a missed opportunity Ben Arfa's spell at St James' Park proved to be - for both player and club. For the winger, this was the chance to prove himself on one of the very biggest stages in football in the Premier League.

For Newcastle, Ben Arfa provided the skill and individual brilliance to promise a beautiful partnership. Every team needs a star and the Frenchman could have been it for the Magpies, propelling them into the top six, four or beyond.

The beautiful partnership never fully materialised, though, due to one main failing.

Ben Arfa, signed in 2010 for £5 million, had everything at Newcastle - the skill, flair and on-field charisma (something he often showcased brilliantly in flashes). But the 27-year-old lacked the one thing he needed most: the desire, drive and work-rate to succeed.

Imagine if Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo had settled for being an okay dribbler and never bettered themselves? Imagine if David Beckham decided his free-kicks were good enough and he never bothered to work on them?

Now imagine a Ben Arfa truly committed to the Newcastle cause - working hard both in training and matches, tracking back, finding his team-mates and capping it all with a superb bit of skill or finish.

Oh what could have been.

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