Newcastle may have to cope without Hatem Ben Arfa for the duration of the season after he broke his leg in the defeat at Manchester City.
Ben Arfa has been a positive influence on Chris Hughton’s team since arriving on loan from Marseille and scored a long-range winner on his debut in a victory over Everton.
However, he is now likely to miss Newcastle’s battle with relegation after being stretchered off after three minutes against Manchester City following Nigel De Jong’s committed challenge.
X-rays have revealed that the 23-year-old has broken the tibia and fibula of his left leg, for which he was to undergo surgery this morning.
However, he is already looking ahead to his return.
He told the Chronicle: “I’ll be back. I will be working hard to play again in a black-and-white shirt and to perform against for the brilliant Newcastle fans.”
Newcastle have placed no time limit on when they expect Ben Arfa to return, but it is more than likely that it will be at least six months.
Ben Arfa has added some extra creativity to Newcastle’s midfield since moving from France and it appeared that he would have a vital role to play in helping them avoid being relegated to the Championship.
Newcastle are 7/2 to be relegated in the Premier League betting odds and have some big fixtures upcoming against some of their fellow teams towards the foot of the table.
They host Wigan next before travelling to West Ham, but they have failed to beat either team in their last three meetings against both.
Wigan are 10/11 to be relegated this season, with West Ham 11/8. See the full Premier League relegation betting odds market.