So keen were Newcastle to get rid of the creative star that they terminated his contract after seeing his loan spell with Hull sour so badly that it went from fans cheering his arrival outside the club as terms were thrashed out to Steve Bruce booting him out and sending him back to the north east.
That did not seem to deter the player however, who has now secured a move to Nice – and is seemingly as delusional as ever.
Astoundingly, the former Newcastle player claimed: ‘I also spoke to the coach (Claude Puel), I liked his integrity and his approach to football and within 10 minutes, my choice was made. Even if Real Madrid had called at that moment, my mind was made up!
‘There are people here who trust me, who do not judge me as some people want to judge me through the press.
‘I wanted to return to France, where I grew up. At Nice, I think I can express myself. I am coming here to enjoy myself, to help the club improve with my qualities, and to win.’
Given Nice is close to Monte Carlo and Monaco – both known for their, shall we say, rather relaxed style of living – its appeal is not exactly hard to fathom for Ben Arfa, who is a party boy at best.
Of course, the chance to repair his image is there and given France are hosting the Euros come 2016, being back in his home country and getting his head down and his fitness levels up could well see him be the shining star in Les Bleus’ campaign to win the trophy on home soil.
There is no doubt that the ability is there when it comes to Ben Arfa, but his mental state and lack of drive is the problem – and always has been.
Quite if his career will begin to reignite itself remains to be seen but even if it does, the damage already seems to be done in England – and with his reputation the way it is currently, having to let down Real Madrid does not seem to be an issue for the Frenchman.
Newcastle United fans. Are you well shot of the player? What will be higher come the end of the season? His goal tally or the amount of weight he puts on? Let us know your thoughts below, become a guest blogger or tweet us @LaFootyettes.