Newcastle Complete Permanent Hatem Ben Arfa Deal As Busy January Begins

Paul ReeceContributor IIJanuary 5, 2011

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 18:  Hatem Ben Arfa of Newcastle United in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Newcastle United at Goodison Park on September 18, 2010 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Hatem Ben Arfa has signed for Newcastle United on a permanent deal today for £5 million on a four-and-a-half-year contract.

The Frenchman arrived at United on loan at the start of the season and scored the winning goal in the club's 1-0 victory over Everton at Goodison Park.

Manchester City's Nigel De Jong's late tackle when the two clubs met in October, however, broke the playmaker's leg and ruled him out until next month.

However, Alan Pardew admitted he made it his first priority to complete a permanent deal for the former Marseille midfielder when he arrived at St. James.

Pardew told the club's official website: "When I came to the club last month, one of my priorities was to secure Hatem on a permanent deal.

"The last thing I wanted was for us to lose him when his loan ended so we're really pleased to have agreed that deal today.

"He's obviously a top player and he's shown that in France, at international level and in his short time here at Newcastle.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 03: Hatem Ben Arfa of Newcastle takes gas as he goes off with an injured ankle during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Newcastle United at the City of Manchester Stadium on October 3, 2010 in Manc
Michael Regan/Getty Images

"I'm delighted to secure Hatem as my first signing and once he's back fit, I have no doubt he'll confirm just what a superb player he is."

Ben Arfa is a product of the famous Clairefontaine Youth Academy in France and spent four years with Lyon before joining Marseille, and he revealed his delight at joining United.

Ben Arfa told the club's website: "I am absolutely delighted to be signing for Newcastle United on a permanent basis.

"During my short time at the club, I thoroughly enjoyed playing for the team and for the supporters too. This is a great club and I am very happy to be committing my future to them.

"I am getting back to fitness as quickly as I can and am really looking forward to getting back to St. James' Park, seeing the lads again and of course working with Alan Pardew and his staff.

"During my time out, I have been inundated with messages of support from fans and I want to repay them all with good performances on the pitch later this season."