Hatem Ben Arfa

Hatem Ben Arfa

French winger Hatem Ben Arfa has expressed thanks to fans of Newcastle United following his loan move to Hull City in an open letter published on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old France international joined Hull on a season-long loan on Monday and with only one year remaining on his Newcastle contract, he appears to have played his final game for the club.

Ben Arfa left St James’ Park after falling out with Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, but his occasional virtuoso performances meant that he remained a popular figure with the club’s fans.

“To the Toon Army, I want to pass on my thanks to all the fans that supported me during my time at the club and living in a city that will be forever in my heart,” he wrote in the letter, which was published in local newspaper the Evening Chronicle.

“Thank you also to everyone at NUFC and to Hull for making this loan happen. I wish Newcastle the best of luck. I hope they have a good season.

“I can’t wait to launch my career again with Hull and (manager) Steve Bruce. I thank him for the trust he has shown in bringing me to this club.”

Ben Arfa signed off the letter with “Howay the lads”, a term of encouragement used by Newcastle fans.

Ben Arfa has not played yet this season after being forced to train apart from Newcastle’s senior squad during pre-season. He could make his Hull debut when they host West Ham United in the Premier League on September 15.

AFP