What Is Hatem Ben Arfa's Future If Steve Bruce Becomes Newcastle Manager?

Ben Arfa's exile to Hull leaves a big question mark over Newcastle's transfer logic if Bruce becomes Magpies boss.

If Mike Ashley does decide to terminate Alan Pardew's time at Newcastle United this week, the hiring of Steve Bruce to replace him would show a particular short-sightedness that the Tyneside club hasn't seen in many years. Bruce emerged as the early favourite to replace Pardew in the hours following Newcastle's sorry 4-0 defeat at St. Mary's yesterday and although the current Hull City boss distanced himself from the reports, indeed branding them "disrespectful" to the current Magpies manager, his Geordie roots will ensure the speculation grows as long as Pardew's time looks untenable. The question this post would like to ask, however, is what if Bruce does take the job at Newcastle.... where does that leave a certain Hatem Ben Arfa? It's extremely doubtful that Newcastle placed a recall clause in the loan deal that took Ben Arfa to Hull, meaning that if Bruce does come to Newcastle, seemingly the manager who wanted Ben Arfa the most, wouldn't actually get to use him for the rest of the season. A deeply frustrating and unnecessary situation that, should Bruce be hired, really should never have have happened. After all, we are only one Premier League game removed from the transfer window. If Pardew does indeed lose his job this week or even this month and Ashley decides to bring in Steve Bruce, clearly this situation would have ran through his mind, but he decided to let Pardew win his battle of stubbornness to allow the Frenchman to exit. Should Bruce become Newcastle manager and not have the ability to use Hatem Ben Arfa, it will be a particularly embarrassment to end all embarrassments the likes of which could only happen to Newcastle United. If the fevered media speculation regarding Pardew this week goes without his departure from the club then Newcastle fans can expect a pantomime of sorts next week when Steve Bruce brings his Hull side to Newcastle in the Premier League... with Hatem Ben Arfa no doubt somewhere in the stadium (whether it be the touchline or wherever)... adding to the craziness of the whole affair.
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.