Newcastle United have announced the permanent signing of winger Hatem Ben Arfa.
Ben Arfa joined the Magpies on loan from Marseille in the summer, but the France international has been sidelined since suffering a double leg fracture in a game in October.
Despite the injury Newcastle have been keen to capture Ben Arfa on a permanent basis, and the 23-year-old was delighted to put pen-to-paper on a four-and-a-half year contract with the North East outfit.
He told Toon’s official website: “I am absolutely delighted to be signing for Newcastle United on a permanent basis.
“During my short time at the club, I thoroughly enjoyed playing for the team and for the supporters too. This is a great club and I am very happy to be committing my future to them.
“I am getting back to fitness as quickly as I can and am really looking forward to getting back to St James' Park, seeing the lads again and of course working with Alan Pardew and his staff.
“During my time out, I have been inundated with messages of support from fans and I want to repay them all with good performances on the pitch later this season.”
Boss Pardew added: “When I came to the club last month, one of my priorities was to secure Hatem on a permanent deal.
“The last thing I wanted was for us to lose him when his loan ended so we're really pleased to have agreed that deal.
“He's obviously a top player and he's shown that in France, at international level and in his short time here at Newcastle.
“I'm delighted to secure Hatem as my first signing and once he's back fit, I have no doubt he'll confirm just what a superb player he is.”