Ben Arfa happy to stay put

French playmaker loving life at St James' Park

Hatem Ben Arfa: Believes Newcastle are capable of challenging for top honours

Loading Market ...

Football Betting

Up To £30 Free Matched Bet

Hatem Ben Arfa claims to be 'very happy' at Newcastle and believes the Magpies can challenge for the Premier League title in 2012/13.

The enigmatic France international played a leading role for Alan Pardew's side last season as they secured a lofty fifth-place finish.

He has, however, not always been a guaranteed starter during his time on Tyneside, with the Magpies favouring a more cautious approach on occasion.

There is no doubting Ben Arfa's ability, though, and he is expected to be a key figure for Pardew this season.

The 25-year-old is looking forward to the challenge and has sought to bring an end to the rumours which have suggested that he could soon be on his way out of St James' Park.

Ben Arfa told the Evening Chronicle: "I'm very happy to stay here.

"I'm happy to be back at Newcastle again. I love this club and the supporters. I love them and they like me."

Confidence

"Maybe if we feel very good, we can finish between fourth and first. Why not? Why can we not say we could be champions?"

Hatem Ben Arfa

Quotes of the week

Newcastle stuck by Ben Arfa after he suffered a serious double leg fracture and the former Marseille playmaker is determined to repay their faith.

He is also looking to help the club end their long wait for major silverware, with it his opinion that the Magpies are capable of challenging for top honours.

He said: "All the players have stayed here. I think we have to have confidence as we have very good players.

"Maybe if we feel very good, we can finish between fourth and first. Why not? Why can we not say we could be champions?

"Maybe? Anything is possible. We can challenge for it. We have good players, a good stadium and great supporters.

"We have to have confidence. I believe we can do what I say."