Hatem Ben Arfa was adored at Newcastle.
The Frenchman dazzled at St James’ Park, getting supporters on the edge of their seat.
He was a magician with the ball at his feet, and Toon fans still discuss his brilliance. Whether it was the incredible solo goal against Bolton or the rocket at Goodison Park, the winger certainly made an impression.
His time with the Magpies ended in January 2015, much to the anger of supporters. However, for all his natural ability, Ben Arfa’s career hasn’t lived up to the hype.
There was a falling out with Alan Pardew, but he wasn’t the only manager that the mercurial talent had a spat with.
Another was Unai Emery, and the pair met once again on Thursday night.
Arsenal took on Rennes in the Europa League, with Ben Arfa coming up against his former manager at PSG. And he certainly had the last laugh, putting in a stunning performance as the Ligue 1 side beat the Gunners 3-1.
The performance also impressed Newcastle fans, who watched on as their former hero put Arsenal to the sword on his 32nd birthday.
Ben Arfa reminds Newcastle fans what he can do
Ben Arfa just went past Torreira like he wasn’t there… Wish he was still here #NUFC
— Dan (@DZ1892) March 7, 2019
Hatem Ben Arfa is causing absolute havoc against Arsenal here. Probably the only player (baring than Mitrovic) that causes so much divide in opinions between #NUFC fans. Absolutely magic on his day
— Ryan Whitehead (@RyanJWhitehead) March 7, 2019
Why didn’t we get Ben Arfa back last summer man. Imagine him, Almiron and Rondon as our front 3 🤤 #NUFC
— Steve McKenna (@SteveMcKenna_) March 8, 2019
— Richard Linley (@LinleysLessons) March 7, 2019
— Tom Davidson (@TomDavidson09) March 7, 2019
Pardew and Carver wouldn’t pick him. Mindboggling
— brian tait (@britait) March 7, 2019
Still got a soft spot for Ben Arfa. Good to see him get Man of the Match against Arsenal on his 32nd birthday last night. #nufc
— Mark (@Mark74NUFC) March 8, 2019
Most fans wish Ben Arfa was still at the club, but he certainly divided opinion.
For all his flicks and tricks, the work ethic wasn’t quite there and not every dribble would come off, sometimes resulting in a goal being conceded at the other end.
While not every fan is pining for him to come back, he certainly entertained us during his spell on Tyneside.