With Steven Taylor very unlikely to feature again in the 2011/12 Premier League campaign, Alan Pardew is set to up the ante in the January transfer window and sign a replacement. Frenchman Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa had been linked with Newcastle in recent weeks, however Pardew played down any supposed interest. As you would expect, since the injury to Tayls, we are being linked with him again and it’s reported that members of our scouting team have advised Alan on the defender.
I mentioned yesterday that Kádár had a big opportunity to stake his claims in the team but various local papers are suggesting that it would take something special for the Hungarian to be considered as a season long replacement.
What do we know about Yanga-Mbiwa apart from his unusual name?
He is 22 years of age, born in Central African Republic but declared for France. Apparantely he can play across the back four and would be suited to the Premier League’s style of play. His price tag would also suit Mike Ashley if he is to invest in a defender.
With all that said; I personally do not know a huge amount about the fella. I’ve never seen him play in any of his 130 or so appearances for Montpellier that I can remember at least – so I wouldn’t be able to tell you what the lad brings to the fore.
Assuming that our scouts have been impressed by him then I’d guess he has potential to be a very decent defender.
Our signings from France so far this season have been very impressive: Yohan Cabaye the pick of the bunch. Mehdi Abeid is almost ready for first team action and we can expect to see him later this season, while we’ll have to wait for Sylvain Marveaux to recover from his groin surgery. Hatem Ben Arfa has shown glimpses of what he can do, and I’d be very excited with what we have on our hands.
We certainly do need to sign a couple of players in January for sure, and at least one of them needs to be a defender.
Somehow I cannot see Mike Ashley handing over £15m to Alan Pardew in January to sign up Erik Pieters, Modibo Maiga and indeed Yanga-Mbiwa. However, we can only wait and see how the transfer window unfolds. Hopefully we won’t lose anyone else between now and the end of the season through injuries or otherwise.
One things for sure: we need to get our defence patched up as quickly as possible or we could descend down the table faster than we can say Ryan Taylor Over The Wall.
Comments welcome as always