Official: Newcastle United sign Hatem Ben Arfa on season-long loan from Marseille

French international clinches move to St James' Park...
Newcastle United have confirmed they have finally secured a season-long loan deal for Olympique de Marseille midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa.

After weeks of speculation, the 23-year-old has completed a loan move to Chris Hughton’s side, with a view to a permanent deal; Ben Arfa has been handed the No.37 shirt.

Speaking to the club’s official website, the French international expressed his delight at clinching a move to Tyneside.

"It was always my first choice to come here and I'm delighted to be here,” he said.

"I've paid real attention to the history of the club and the great players to have played for it, and particularly the supporters and I want to showcase my skills in Newcastle.

"All I'm waiting for is to show what I can do in front of the public in Newcastle. A lot of my friends in France already know the fans' reputation.

"The stadium has an ambience that is unique and I feel very lucky to have his opportunity.”

Manager Hughton revealed he was hoping to hand Ben Arfa his debut against Blackpool on September 11 and believed his new signing would bring some flair to the newly-promoted outfit.

“Hatem is a player who we have been tracking for a long time, and what is important is that he is not only a young player who should continue to improve, but somebody who already has a great reputation in the game,” he added.

"We think he will add flair to the squad and we're confident he'll fit in well with the team that we have put together here. He will, I am sure, prove to be a great addition.

"He won't be available to face Wolves at the weekend, but he'll come into my thinking for the next game at home to Blackpool. He's someone who will excite the fans here, who of course have always identified with skilful, attacking players."

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