Newcastle boss Pardew: Ben Arfa up there with Beardsley, Keegan

Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew says Hatem Ben Arfa would walk into Kevin Keegan's 'Entertainers' team.

Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew says Hatem Ben Arfa would walk into Kevin Keegan's 'Entertainers' team.

Ben Arfa, 26, is a fans’ favourite on Tyneside — the latest in a long list of skilful playmakers to have worn the famous black and white.

Pardew said: “When I looked at Newcastle as an outsider I always admired the way they played here. There was always that outstanding player that lifted the crowd. You had Tino Asprilla, Peter Beardsley and Kevin Keegan. They were fantastic.

“And you have to put Hatem in that category as a special player. He hasn’t achieved what those guys have done yet but, hopefully, he will.

“The first thing I did when I arrived was sign him because he is my type of player and I’ve had a great relationship with him.

“We’ve had a few ups and downs with injuries. But he can do things that no other player can do.

“That’s why I want to keep him here as long as he wants to stay, so it’s good news for me that he wants to stay.”

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