Newcastle United’s new signing Hatem Ben Arfa has suffered a suspected double fracture of the fibula and tibia. According to L’Equipe Ben Arfa could be out for up to six months. The injury occurred in the opening moments of Newcastle’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester City as Nigel De Jong robustly tackled the French international.
No foul was given by the referee Martin Atkinson as the Dutch international De Jong was deemed to have played the ball. Newcastle manager Chris Hughton was furious after the game.
He said: “Everyone will have their own opinion but it was a tackle that did not need to be made.”
The tackle added to the result left Hughton a frustrated man at full time.
He continued: “When something like that happens and then to have some incredible decisions go against us it's hard to take."
The news will be a big blow to Newcastle as Ben Arfa had made an excellent start to his career with the Magpies. This included scoring a wonder goal at Goodison Park against Everton.
De Jong who committed the foul is no stranger to controversial tackles, he famously should have been sent off in this year’s world cup final for a chest-high tackle on Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso. He was also involved in the tackle which broke midfielder Stuart Holden’s leg in a world cup warm up.
Man City assistant manager Brian Kidd defended the Dutch star after the game.
He said: “There was no malice in it, definitely not. Nigel’s not that type of lad.”
Although no action was taken by Martin Atkinson, the FA may decide to act on the challenge if they deem it necessary to do so.