Will Yanga-Mbiwa Play In The Champions League?

Newcastle United sealed the signing of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa from French side Montpellier yesterday, for a fee reported to be £6.7 million, but has the Frenchman made the right move?

Yanga-Mbiwa came through the youth ranks with Montpellier and played 184 games for the club who currently sit 12th in the French top flight meaning a move away from the reigning Ligue 1 champions seemed inevitable but could he have chosen a Champions League side over the struggling Magpies?

23 year old Yanga-Mbiwa has had a taste of Champions League football this season, playing all 6 group games for Montpellier although the French side finished bottom of Group B without a win, and only 2 points from the 6 games.

Despite such a poor showing in Europe’s elite competition a taste of the Champions League is normally enough to leave players wanting more, but Yanga-Mbiwa has Joined Newcastle who are struggling near the bottom of the Premier League but have qualified for the knockout phase of the Europa League.

Yanga-Mbiwa offers all the attributes of a potentially top centre half, although he is able to play anywhere along the back line as well as in a defensive midfield role. The France international plays a similar role to that of Rio Ferdinand at Manchester United using his reading of the play to snuff out opposition attacks and a wide range of passing ability to start his own side’s offensive moves.

At 23 the move to Newcastle is unlikely to be Yanga-Mbiwa’s last and may prove to be the perfect stepping stone on to a Champions League side if he can show his true worth in the Premier League.


Sam Jewell