Ben Arfa - Toon No. 1 choice

Image: Ben Arfa: English challenge

Hatem Ben Arfa insists Newcastle was his first choice destination after joining on a season-long loan.

Winger keen to "conquer" Premier League

Hatem Ben Arfa insists Newcastle was his first choice destination after joining on a season-long loan. The France international joined the Magpies on Friday and was in the stands to watch Chris Hughton's side claim a 1-1 draw with Wolves at the weekend. Ben Arfa's arrival at St James' Park was the latest demonstration of player-power after the 23-year-old refused to report to training at his parent club Marseille for two weeks. And the tricky winger, who was also linked with German duo Werder Bremen and Hoffenheim, is delighted to have sealed a move to the Premier League. "Newcastle was my first choice," Ben Arfa, who also said he hopes to be fit for action within the next fortnight, told L'Equipe. "Everything happened because I wanted to come here." The former Lyon midfielder added: "Newcastle has a long history and a very strong identity. I watched the match against Aston Villa on TV and the match against Wolverhampton in the stands and there were a lot of positive things. "I could have great fun in that team. I am feeling like starting again from scratch. I have a whole country to conquer. It is a beautiful challenge. When I saw the atmosphere in Wolverhampton's stands, I had shivers at kick-off."

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