Pardew secures permanent Ben Arfa move

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The Independent Online

Hatem Ben Arfa has become Alan Pardew's first signing at Newcastle United despite being out with injury since October and only playing four matches for the club since joining on loan from Marseilles.

The winger scored a stunning winner against Everton during his first start in September but has been unavailable after he was involved in a horrific challenge with Nigel de Jong that left him with a broken leg.

But Pardew made it clear that making Ben Arfa's move permanent, for an undisclosed fee, was a main concern of his when taking charge after a number of clubs, including Liverpool, were monitoring him.

"When I came to the club last month, one of my priorities was to secure Hatem on a permanent deal," he said. "The last thing I wanted was for us to lose him when his loan ended, so we are really pleased to have agreed that deal today. He's obviously a top player and he's shown that in France, at international level and in his short time here at Newcastle.

"I'm delighted to secure Hatem as my first signing and once he's back fit, I have no doubt he will confirm just what a superb player he is."

Ben Arfa said he was confident of moving on from his injury: "I am getting back to fitness as quickly as I can and am really looking forward to getting back to St James' Park, seeing the lads again and working with Alan Pardew and his staff."

Newcastle's managing director, Derek Llambias, added that Pardew had the board's support for transfers. "Alan Pardew made it clear that he wanted Hatem here beyond his loan spell, so we have backed him and made that happen," he said.

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