HATEM Ben Arfa joined Hull City on a six-month loan deal - determined to prove Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew wrong.
Ben Arfa’s move to the KC Stadium was confirmed in the early hours of this morning.
The fans’ favourite - who fell out of favour at the club last season - had been frozen out at St James’s Park by Pardew, who faces a backlash from fans in the wake of the forward’s controversial exit.
Ben Arfa rejected offers from Turkish club Besiktas and Lee Clark’s Birmingham City, but having been told he had no future at St James’s Park over the weekend, the 27-year-old, out of contract next summer, reluctantly made the decision to leave on loan.
Ben Arfa, however, won’t be able to play against Newcastle due to loan regulations.
Hull manager Steve Bruce admitted before the deal was confirmed that managing Ben Arfa, once labelled the enfant terrible of French football, would be a “challenge”.
But he is confident he can get the best out of him.
“He is an an exciting talent,” said Wallsend-born Bruce. “The question is can we ignite him again?
“Whatever has happened with him at Newcastle has happened. It’s a big challenge for us all.
“He wants to get his career kick-started again. Let’s hope I can get the best out of him.”
Ben Arfa hasn’t played for United since April, when he came off the bench against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.
He suffered a dead leg soon after making it on to the pitch and didn’t feature for the rest of the season, despite returning to fitness.
Ben Arfa denied he had been a disruptive influence behind the scenes in the wake of reports he had been involved in dressing room exchanges with Pardew.
The former Olympique Marseille player, in the international wilderness since his former Stade Velodrome coach Didier Deschamps took charge of France, said he was “sad and frustrated” to be in the cold at St James’s Park.
Newcastle also lost Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa yesterday, the defender joining AS Roma on a season-long loan.
Hull earlier completed the club-record signing of Uruguay striker Abel Hernandez and midfielder Mohamed Diame on a busy transfer deadline day.
Hernandez has been in East Yorkshire for several days and, having been granted a work permit on Friday, finally sealed his move from Serie A side Palermo for a fee in the region of £9.5million.
He was later joined by Diame’s arrival from West Ham, ending a protracted chase by manager Steve Bruce.
Both players have agreed three-year deals with the Tigers, with Hernandez having the option of a fourth.
The 24-year-old has signed a three-year deal at the KC Stadium with the option of the club extending the contract for a further year.
Hernandez will fill the gap left by Shane Long, who joined Southampton in a surprise £12million move last month.
He has seven goals in 14 appearances for Uruguay and was part of their World Cup squad this summer having scored 14 goals last season as Palermo won Italy’s Serie B title.
Bruce said: “Abel is a fantastic signing and highlights just how far the club has come in such a short space of time. He is an exciting talent. I’m sure the supporters can’t wait to see him in action.”
Senegal midfielder Diame, who knows the English game well having enjoyed three seasons at Wigan before joining the Hammers, is understood to have cost Hull around £3.5million.
“I’m delighted to welcome Mohamed to the club,” said Bruce. “His experience, both at international level and in the Premier League will be invaluable for us as we look to cement our place in the top-flight.”
Bruce is keen to operate a bigger squad this season but still sanctioned the sale of George Boyd to Burnley on a three-year deal that was finalised early on Monday, with Joe Dudgeon extending his loan at Barnsley until January.
On Sunday Bruce revealed another deal for had been done for an incoming player, with Republic of Ireland youth defender Brian Lenihan joining from Cork City.