Newcastle are reportedly interested in signing Nabil Fekir this summer just a year after the France international left Lyon to join Real Betis – and the player told Foot Mercato in 2018 that he dreams of becoming as good as ex-Toon star Hatem Ben Arfa.
French outlet Foot Mercato have claimed that 26-year-old attacker Fekir is a target for Newcastle, as the Toon continue to edge closer to a whopping £300million takeover. An announcement is said to be completed in the next few weeks.
Fekir, who is already a more-than-established part of the France squad, has been in decent form for Real Betis this season since his move from Lyon – scoring six goals and laid on seven assists.
Certainly, Fekir would be a top signing for a Newcastle side that is in need of creation – and the ability to connect the midfield and attack, a player such as Ben Arfa. Fekir claimed in 2018 that Lionel Messi and Ben Arfa are his inspirations.
“There are two that I really liked: Lionel Messi and Hatem Ben Arfa. These are players who inspired me. Ben Arfa really? Of course. He was playing in Lyon, he was magnificent. I tried to follow his example when I was at the training center,” Fekir said.
TBR’s view – Can Fekir be as special as Ben Arfa was for Newcastle?
The 15-time France international has become somewhat of a journeyman since his Newcastle days, where he had a hand in 30 goals during his 86 Toon outings. The 33-year-old is out of contract this summer at Real Valladolid.
But his time at Newcastle saw Ben Arfa become an icon among the terraces. His stats hardly jump off the page but it was his ability to excite and create something out of nothing – his goal against Bolton in 2012 is the perfect example.
If Fekir, who is rated at £43million (Foot Mercato), can replicate the success that Ben Arfa had on Tyneside, then he would be an excellent signing for Newcastle’s new owners.