Newcastle manager Alan Pardew believes winger Hatem Ben Arfa is at the peak of his form on Tyneside, and that his omission from the France squad can only be a positive for the Magpies.
Ben Arfa, 25, joined the club from Marseille in 2010, and scored a stunning equalizer in Sunday's game against Aston Villa.
Speaking to the Chronicle, Pardew said: "Hatem is really on fire for us at the moment. He was the highlight of the game against Aston Villa. He's just a special talent, and he's been our best player."
The winger was not selected by new national team coach Didier Deschamps for World Cup qualifiers with Finland and Belarus, after the two endured a tumultuous relationship when they were together at Marseille.
"Fortunately for us he's not with the French squad so we have him for another couple of weeks," Pardew added. "We'll wrap him in cotton wool and wait for Everton. He's always been a massive talent in France. His technique sets him apart. He's got great power in both feet and defenders just don't know which foot to show him on to."
Meanwhile, Italian defender Davide Santon has echoed the sentiments of his manager. The Italian international also believes that Ben Arfa's quality means he will likely attract interest from rival clubs.
"For us Ben Arfa is so important." Santon said. "He has really, really good quality with the ball and he is fantastic. There is nothing he can't do with the ball so of course he is important. Nothing he does surprises us. He has that quality. I'm not surprised if another team wants to sign him because he has fantastic quality."