Hatem Ben Arfa

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

With two goals from three Barclays Premier League games, including a spectacular equaliser against Aston Villa on Sunday, there's no doubt that Hatem Ben Arfa has started the new season just as he ended the last.

And fellow Frenchman Yohan Cabaye, who played alongside Ben Arfa at the European Championships during the summer, is delighted to be his team-mate at club level too.

Ben Arfa has been left out of Didier Deschamps' last two Les Bleus squads but it will soon become difficult to ignore the claims of the former Marseille man if he continues his current form for the Magpies.

Against Tottenham on the opening day, he struck the winner from the penalty spot and then even in defeat, he shone for Alan Pardew's side at Chelsea the following weekend.

The 25-year-old's moment of magic against Villa earned Newcastle a point and, after the current international break, he will return to Goodison Park - the scene of a spectacular first United goal on his full debut - to take on Everton.

"When the defences are hard, every time he is the best player to make the difference for us," Cabaye told nufc.co.uk when questioned about his compatriot.

"Against Aston Villa it was him and even against Tottenham, he won the penalty to win us the game.

"He is the man of the moment and I'm very happy that we have him in the squad."

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