Toulouse’ Cheikh M’Bengue has said yesterday that he is a target of Newcastle United, and he’s pleased about that.
Cheikh M’Bengue – 22 year old left back
The news that Newcastle are after the player is not too surprising, because it was first revealed in early March that the France U21 International was a target of Newcastle.
M’Bengue has been talking to a French football website Mercato365 yesterday, and made no secret of the fact it was pleasing that a club like Newcastle were after his services.
This boy looks a very good player and is only 22 years old, yet has played 12 times at the France U21 level.
This is what M’Benque said yesterday:
“It’s pleasing. I have heard about it but the club have refused the offer.” “At the moment I’m not too bothered, I have an agent to look after that and he looks after my interests very well.” “We must see what happens.”
“As it stands I’m a Toulouse player and the decision doesn’t come down to me alone,” “I’m contracted until 2014 with Toulouse. If one day I must move it will be with the support of my club.”
“If there are several possibilities in this case, yes I would make the final choice. But beyond that, the deals that can occur, I do not mind too much if he takes care of them.”
Those are good words from the youngster, and it’s fitting that he is loyal to his home town club, since he’s been there for 15 years.
The Toulouse-born player has been with the club since he was just seven years old, and he’s come through the club’s ranks and has so far played 81 times (69 starts) for the Toulouse first team, with two goals.
M’Benque made his debut in September of 2007 against Marseilles, at the age of 19, coming on as a substitute in the 2–1 victory.
Cheikh M’Bengue stands 6′ tall and is of Senegalese descent, and is a very tough tackling player.
Cheikh has already had two long suspensions from the French Football Federation for bad tackles – and that sounds like he’s a similar player to Cheick Tiote doesn’t it?
M’Benque is not a full France International, and only last Monday, the manager of the Senegal national team, Amara Traore, confirmed that M’Bengue would be representing Senegal at senior International level.
That’s also what Sebastien Bassong did shortly after leaving Newcastle – he became a full Senegal International after representing France at the U21 level.
Newcastle have been watching M’Benque improve over the last year or so, and the news from France is that Newcastle’s reputation has been greatly enhanced by the careful and professional way in which they have treated the great Hatem Ben Arfa during his recovery from a double leg fracture.
His agent, Simon Stainrod, has waxed lyrical about the way Newcastle have treated his client so well since he broke his leg back in October.
The interest in M’Benque, and an initial £5M offer that was turned down on April 14th, surely suggests strongly that Enrique is on his way out of Newcastle this summer.
But this lad looks like a much better option than Stephen Warnock or Paul Konchesky.