Newcastle United's Hatem ben Arfa has pledged his immediate future to the north east club after making a successful return to injury in the Europa League against Benfica.

Having made just one appearance since December, Ben Arfa made an immediate impact for The Toon, helping to create Papiss Cisse's equaliser before providing evidence he's lost none of his deft touch since his spell on the side-lines with a hamstring injury with a considered performance

The Frenchman had previously claimed that he may consider offers away from Newcastle this summer but the ex-Marseille winger has reaffirmed his commitment to the cause.

Hatem Ben Arfa
Ben Arfa says he will stay at Newcastle.

"I want to stay here," Ben Arfa claimed.

"It is only journalists who talk about that. Me and my agent have not talked about that. I am focused on Newcastle and 100% Newcastle. I hope to stay here.

"We have a great team. I'd love to play for this team in Europe again. We won't next season but after that we can maybe go again.

"Everything is here. It is a great club. We have a great squad, big ground and great fans."

After crashing out of the Europa League, following a 4-2 aggregate defeat to Benfica, Newcastle must now turn their focus towards a crucial Tyne-wear derby against Sunderland in the battle for survival.

Paulo di Canio' side were defeated 2-1 by Chelsea in the Italian's first game in charge as Newcastle struck late to defeat Fulham and give themselves a five-point cushion ahead of the weekend clash.

"I think I'm okay for the rest of the season now, and I'm very happy to play," Ben Arfa added.

"I want it [the game against Sunderland] to be now. Sunday is going to be a great game, and we hope we win for all the supporters and for us. We know it is very important for everyone in Newcastle to win this game."