Liverpool's Sakho says ex-Newcastle star Hatem Ben Arfa was his toughest opponent

Mamadou Sakho has spoken about former Newcastle United man Hatem Ben Arfa.

Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho says ex-Newcastle United winger Hatem Ben Arfa impressed him more than both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, he told Bein Sports.

Ben Arfa was once rated as one of the most promising players in Europe, and Newcastle fans could have been forgiven for getting overly excited when he opted to join them in 2010.

However, not soon after moving to St. James’ Park Ben Arfa suffered a broken leg and he seemingly was not the same player upon his return, looking unfit and largely unmotivated.

After four seasons on the books of Newcastle, the France international was released by the club and subsequently signed for Nice where has gone on to rediscover his best form.

The natural talent of the tricky winger cannot be questioned, and when speaking to Bein Sports Liverpool’s Sakho claims he has impressed him more than the likes of Ronaldo and Messi.

“I have faced Messi, I have faced Cristiano Ronaldo, but I have always said that the player who impressed me the most was Hatem Ben Arfa. What he does on the pitch, it is exceptional,” Sakho explained.

Ben Arfa has managed 16 goals and four assists in 30 Ligue 1 appearances this season, prompting calls from the French press to include him in this summer’s European Championships.

His present form reflects his natural ability, and it is the type of return which many Newcastle supporters were hoping for from the play-maker upon arriving at St. James’ Park almost six years ago.

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