HATEM Ben Arfa says he is glad to be back at a club where the manager really wants him.
Ben Arfa, out of favour with Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew, joined Hull City on a season-long deal in an 11th hour transfer-window move on Monday.
The forward had been frozen out by Pardew, who is braced for a backlash from those fans who didn’t want to see the gifted Ben Arfa leave St James’s Park.
And Ben Arfa - who fell out of favour late last season - says he is just glad to be at a club where he is wanted by the manager.
The 27-year-old, a fans’ favourite at St James’s Park, was also given a warm welcome by ecstatic Hull supporters when he arrived at the club’s training ground late on deadline day.
“The manager (Steve Bruce) wants me here, and that is very important,” said Ben Arfa.
“The welcome was amazing. I was almost crying.
“I was shocked to see so many people there at midnight waiting for me. It was great and I thank them.
“When I woke up on Monday morning, there was nothing on the cards.
“Then, in the afternoon the call came and everything happened very quickly after that. At 1am, everything was complete, and I was very happy.
“I’m very much looking forward to the start of a new challenge. I’m looking forward to being back on the pitch after two months of only training.
“The manager has made a lot of very good signings. There were many good players already here and then more have arrived this week.”
Bruce, Hull’s Wallsend-born manager, feels Ben Arfa will bring “flair and creativity” to his team.
“I didn’t think it would be possible to do a loan deal, but the later it got the more beneficial it became,” he said. “With a bit of patience and luck, we’ve managed to pull in a really good player.
“We all know he is a wonderful talent, and although it has gone a little bit sideways for him at Newcastle in the last couple of months, he’ll bring that little bit of flair and creativity that every team needs.”