NEWCASTLE United new boy Hatem Ben Arfa is ready to make his Premier League bow when Blackpool visit St James’ Park next Saturday, despite concerns over the wide man’s match fitness.

His move to Tyneside was one of the long-running sagas of this summer’s transfer window but the Frenchman finally completed his move from Ligue 1 side Marseille last week.

However, in his final few weeks at the Stade Velodrome, Ben Arfa refused to train in protest against the French club, after they initially blocked his move to the Premier League side.

Magpies’ backroom staff were concerned that the 23- year-old would take several weeks to regain full fitness, having not played football for almost four weeks, but the French international insists he is ready to play.

“It’s a relief that I am here.

I am very disciplined in my training, despite what was said,’’ he said.

“I wasn’t training with Marseille but I hired a personal fitness trainer to make sure I didn’t fall behind.

“I worked really, really hard to keep a level of fitness up.

“The coaches at Newcastle have all been impressed by my level of fitness and have had no questions about it.

“I am excited by the prospect of running out in front of these fans – I want to give everything I can for them.

“I have a lot of confidence in the people I have seen on the training field so far.

“After seeing the skills of the players in the last week or so, I feel even more confident that the team can achieve success than I did before.”

Meanwhile, Newcastle’s impressive start to life back in the top-flight has seen them catapulted to the top of the Premier League stat tables.

According to Opta, Chris Hughton’s side are the most accurate shooters in the Premier League and also boast the meanest defence.

The Magpies have hit the target with 65 per cent of their shots in their first three games and have limited their opponents to just ten shots on target, fewer than any other team.