‘He’d run rings around people’ – Newcastle cult hero tipped to make surprise return to former club

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Following a year spent with Ligue 1 outfit Bordeaux, Hatem Ben Arfa has been tipped to make a return to ex-club Newcastle United by Andrew Simpson.

The club’s former interpreter, who worked with the Frenchman during his stint in the Premier League, believes a fairytale reunion with the side would greatly appeal to the forward.

“One thing I learnt with Hatem is never rule out the weirdest thing that could possibly happen. He doesn’t seem to follow any standards of normality,” Simpson told Chronicle Live.

“I would not be surprised if he did come back, I could actually see it possibly happening. I can see him doing a pay-per-play deal, it wouldn’t surprise me at all.

“He loved the club, and whatever happened between him and Pardew is old news. The club, the fans, the city, I think that would be a massive appeal to him.

“I think if he got a chance, he would love to pull a Newcastle shirt on and I can guarantee if he did, regardless of his physical condition, he’d put in absolutely sterling displays. He’d run rings around people.”

With his contract in France not renewed, the 34-year-old would be available to potential suitors as a free agent, which could prove to be a bargain for Steve Bruce’s men if the fan favourite was deemed worth a punt.

Registering seven goal contributions in 24 league appearances for Bordeaux last term, the French international has certainly proven that he is still capable of playing at the highest level.

Though, one might expect Ben Arfa to be only offered a short-term deal with the Magpies, were a reunion desired.

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