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France coach Blanc: We always rated Newcastle's Ben Arfa

France coach Laurent Blanc has reaffirmed plans to select Newcastle United winger Hatem Ben Arfa.

Blanc, the former Manchester United defender, hinted heavily that he will be included for the first time since breaking his leg.

But he told L'Equipe: "He has become again a player who can play for the national side. I had already chosen him in Norway (August 2010). I was not waiting for Alan Pardew, or I don't really know what Hatem is worth.

"We always knew he was capable of doing the things he is now doing. What is interesting is that he is physically fit. What pleases me is he has decided to give his talent to the team.

"He has the problem of talented players. He has so much technical ability that there first instinct is to say: 'Give me the ball and I will do the rest'. The worry is that when you don't have the ball, these players do not get involved."

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Tribal Football Staff

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