Vieira: Ben Arfa deserves to be in the France squad for Euro 2012

World Cup winner feels Newcastle winger should feature at the summer tournament with his manager Alan Pardew also full of praise for the in-form 25-year-old
Patrick Vieira believes Newcastle United winger Hatem Ben Arfa deserves to be part of France's Euro 2012 campaign after an influential season in the Premier League.

Despite sustaining a broken tibia and fibula in 2010, the French midfielder has recovered and produced some eye-catching performances for the Magpies, particularly his stunning solo goal against Bolton Wanderers on Monday.

The 25-year-old has made just eight international appearances for France but Vieira believes that manager Laurent Blanc should include him in his selection for this year's Euro 2012 campaign.

"[Hatem] Ben Arfa deserves to go to the European Championship," he told The Mirror.

“He has very strong claims to go, and you’ve got to say well done to him for coming back to his best after his injuries.”

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Ben Arfa's manager, Alan Pardew, also echoed Vieira's words and claimed that the former Marseille man is one of the greatest players he has ever worked with.

“Hatem’s right up there with any player I’ve ever worked with," Pardew he added.

“He should definitely have a chance with the French squad. There’s not many players can do the things he does, his work-rate is phenomenal and I’m sure the French manager understands that.

"He can [dribble] go that quickly but still put the ball exactly where he wants it. It’s only the great dribblers that can do that.

“When I first arrived here, Gerard Houllier said he was a precocious talent, one of their special players. That didn’t get lost on me.

"He’s had a terrible injury and has had to work really hard. People expect him to be special and he’s beginning to produce it."