Alan Pardew has claimed that Hatem Ben Arfa needs to show more consistency to fulfil his potential at St. James Park and in the French national team.

The winger produced a match-winning performance against Fulham in their last Premier League match, scoring a late goal in a 1-0 victory.

Ben Arfa was initially bought in on loan by former manager Chris Houghton in 2010 but Pardew later made the move from Marseille permanent the following summer.

Injuries have meant that Ben Arfa has only made 48 Premier League appearances in three years for the Toon Army. 

Despite that, the Lyon youngster has established himself as a firm favourite on Tyneside with his skills, pace and eye for a spectacular goal.

Now, back to full fitness, it will be a crucial period for the 13 cap international.

Newcastle struggled last season without their key man who often provides the spark that is lacking in his absence.

Pardew admits he needs more from his enigmatic midfielder, he told BT Sport: "That's what we are searching for with Hatem, a little bit more consistency in terms of him winning games, whether it's an assist or a goal.

"He has fantastic quality. He is a player the fans love and he certainly got everybody out of their seats the last time.

"But we need a little bit more than that, more from him, more of those moments. I think he would be the first to admit that that's the year he needs if he is going to break into the French team.

"He has an ability that no other player can match in certain situations, and therefore there is sometimes a down-side to that.

"But he has worked hard on that down-side in terms of his tactical play and in terms of his work-rate, and he is becoming a complete player.

"If we can keep working on him and making him better, it will be all the better for us and for France."

Newcastle are 12th in the table and they travel to Aston Villa this weekend.

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#Newcastle United
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