Toon in no rush to replace Ben Arfa

The 23-year-old midfielder is facing months on the sidelines as he

begins his recovery from the double leg fracture he suffered in a

challenge by Manchester City’s Nigel de Jong on Sunday. However,

Hughton, who signed Ben Arfa on a season-long loan deal and will

now have to do without him for a significant proportion of the time

he was due to spend on Tyneside, is confident his squad is strong

enough without looking for a replacement when the transfer window

opens once again. He told the club’s official website,

www.nufc.co.uk: “I’m disappointed to have lost a player of Hatem’s

quality – but we will not over-react to one injury in what is a

very strong squad. “We won’t be adding to the squad in January. I

feel we have a lot of strength in depth with the players we have

already and there’s no need to add to it. “We completed our squad

before the last transfer window and I’m extremely pleased with the

players we brought in. “[Owner] Mike Ashley and the board were

financially very supportive and together, we did some very good

business in the summer.” Wayne Routledge, who had previously been a

fixture in this side this season, started on the bench at City as

Ben Arfa and Jonas Gutierrez got the nod, and he and the

Argentinian seem likely to bear the burden while the France

international is sidelined. However, Danny Guthrie is also back in

the picture having recovered from a knee injury and his

availability will increase the manager’s options.