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Ben Arfa to attempt career relaunch at Ligue 1 champions Lille

Lille (France) (AFP) – Former Newcastle and France midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa signed for reigning French champions Lille until the end of the season on Wednesday, the club said.

The much-travelled 34-year-old has been a free agent since leaving Bordeaux last year.

Lille will be his tenth club in 15 years as a professional. He has also played for Paris Saint-Germain, Lyon, Marseille, English outfit Hull City and Spanish club Real Valladolid.

He shone in four seasons at Newcastle, with the club’s then manager Alan Pardew comparing his skills to those of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. 

His performances in the Premier League earned him a place in the France squad for the 2012 European Championship.

But after a successful return to France in 2015 when he scored 17 goals in 34 appearances for Nice, his career stalled in a goalless stay at star-studded PSG and he scored just twice in 24 games for Bordeaux.

Lille also announced that with Ben Arfa’s arrival, 24-year-old Turkish midfielder Yusuf Yazici will be loaned to CSKA Moscow until the end of the season with an option for a permanent move.

After pipping Qatar-backed PSG to a surprise Ligue 1 title last season, Lille are 21 points behind PSG this campaign.

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