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Hatem Ben Arfa (left)
As an impact substitute, Hatem Ben Arfa has breathed life into Newcastle United during their last two games, and threw his team a lifeline after coming on against Everton.
On Saturday, the Frenchman lit up an otherwise lifeless fixture against Crystal Palace, producing the cross for Papiss Cisse to score a last-gasp winner at St. James’ Park.
Following his introduction against Everton, the 27-year-old manufactured a clear-cut opportunity for the Magpies to get back into the game—only for Vurnon Anita to fluff his lines in front of goal.
Opinion was split ahead of Ben Arfa’s recent comeback, with many citing inconsistency as his chief weakness. However, his quick feet and ability to run at the opposition has brought some much-needed invention to the Toon.
Some 86 percent of readers of Newcastle fanzine The Mag voted for him to start against Everton. That figure could well be higher ahead of Saturday’s trip to Southampton.