Ben Arfa is likely to play some part in Tuesday’s City Ground Carling Cup clash with Nottingham Forest.
Pardew told the Sunday Sun: “To me, Hatem Ben Arfa is a number ten.
“I won’t play him on the side. I don’t think he wants to play there, I don’t he enjoys playing there and therefore my gut feeling is that footballers won’t play their best if they’re not happy in the position they’re in.
“I remember playing Jermain Defoe on the side when I was at West Ham. Within ten minutes I could tell he didn’t want to play there, it was a waste of time so I stuck him through the middle and Jermain was Jermain.
“Ben Arfa’s motivation is to play through the middle of the pitch - he needs to earn that right. He accepted that in pre-season, he worked very, very hard and that’s what we’ll be looking for him to do when he comes back in and around the team.”