Arsenal To Challenge Newcastle For French Defender

One of the players Newcastle have been linked with all season,  is Montpellier captain Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa – Newcastle linked with Montpellier captain

And there is news today in the Daily Mail that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is also keeping tabs on the versatile defender, who can play anywhere across the back four.

If anything,  the Newcastle defense has been the weakness at times this season, and a versatile defender coming in over the summer would be a good move by the Tyneside club.

That same view is also true of Arsenal of course, whose defending sometimes this season has been woeful.

The captain of Montpellier turns 23 next month, and he has French citizenship,  and he has Montpellier 2 points above the very rich PSG, with 6 games to play in the league.

Mapou was born in Bangui, Central African Republic, and he has 8 caps at the French U21 level, and he made his debut for the French club back in 2006, when he was 17, after moving to France when he was a toddler.

Yanga-Mbiwa can also play in defensive midfield, and his value has been tabbed at around £5M in the transfer market, but the Mail puts his value now at £7M, but that’s probably a little high.

Yanga-Mbiwa  wants to move to England and he had this to say last December:

“People live for football in England, and that is what I want to experience.”  “I’ll see what offers I get, but English football is incredible.”

“There is more physical contact than in France, but I like that – it suits my style of play.”

And in late January, when he was told that Newcastle may be interested in him, he had this to say:

“Newcastle are interested? Well it means my performances have crossed the country.”  “My dream league has always been the Premier League, so you never know.

“But for me if Montpellier have to agree a fee with a team, then who knows?” “But I would love to play one day in England.”

The 6′ tall defender is a player that Newcastle have been linked with for some time, and we think this lad would be a very good buy for the Tyneside club, based on how versatile he can be in defense, and he’s a hard tackling defender.

In six seasons at Montpellier he has appeared 175 times with 4 goals for the French club, which is the only club he has ever played for.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

16 comments so far

  • Indian Magpie

    Apr 20, 2012 at 8:41 AM

    Comment #1

    i say we get 1 out of him and verthongen and arsenal the other

  • Ollieh51

    Apr 20, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    Comment #2

    Didn’t his agent say yesterday that he’s not likely to move yet for another year?

    I think he’d be a great player for us but maybe he’s too advanced and would get frustrated being on our bench?

    Colo and Saylor start for us when both fit, their partnership early on was the best in the league.

    We need back ups for when Saylor inevitably gets injured and for the extra European games we’ll have but whether Yanga-Mbiwa thinks this is enough for him to use to develop with at us is a different matter.

  • Tsunki

    Apr 20, 2012 at 8:51 AM

    Comment #3

    If Montpellier are in CL, why would he still want to go to England? Answer = to play CL with and English team. If that’s the case, he’ll only come to us if we qualify. No doubt Arsene is still hurting over missing out on our lad, so maybe he has decided to join the school of poaching our scouting targets. Having said that, I don’t think they are any more an attractive proposition than us at the moment – he’d definitely be a first team regular starter in short order, although I do have a bit of reservation about his liking for the physical side of the game. If he relishes it as much as The Tank, I see a few reds coming his way.


    Apr 20, 2012 at 8:56 AM

    Comment #4

    Wouldnt be shocked if we arent after Vertoghen or Mbiwa and its all paper talk. Possibly the same thing with Arsenal tbh

  • jarnytoon

    Apr 20, 2012 at 8:56 AM

    Comment #5

    Not meaning to be negative or insinuating that NUFC isn’t a big club but i reckon if Arsene has an eye on him then i reckon he’ll go there even if we did qualify for the champions league.

    Regarding Vertonghen….i’d rather have Aberweild (sorry for the spelling), from what i’ve seen he’s better.

  • LewSpi

    Apr 20, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #6

    I’ll repost because I think it’s important to give credit where it’s due

    “88LewSpi // Apr 20, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    Tsunki @ 74,

    Probably one of the best, most structured and well balanced posts I’ve ever read on this blog. Bravo.”

    With regards to this article., we have been linked with so many CBs it’s impossible to say which one we’ll be getting. This guy clearly has a winnig pedigree and to be captain of one of the top French clubs at just 21 clearly says something…

  • Benton Toon Exile

    Apr 20, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    Comment #7

    I am starting to get a bit fed up with people saying we have a poor defence!!

    To put the record straight we have kept 13, yes 13 clean sheets this season which is only bettered by Man Utd and City..

  • Hatem's better than Messi

    Apr 20, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    Comment #8


    Arsenal can’t buy all these defenders we’ve been linked with.
    We also have lots of French speaking players saying we are a great club in the French media.

    The lad sounds like he’s a great player. He’d fit in well.

  • Hemel Mag

    Apr 20, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #9

    Repost- for those who weren’t around at stupid o clock


    Guys, I’ve managed to get tickets for three out of our last five games, I’m coming up for Stoke tomorrow, then Chelsea and City, and really want to get to Everton for the last game. I’m a member but the last couple of away games have sold out to ST holders.

    Can anyone help with two tickets Please- am happy to TT money or meet up in Toon tomorrow etc will also pay a bit of a premium as a thank you if any of you season ticket holders on here can’t go themselves



  • Ollieh51

    Apr 20, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    Comment #10

    @ Benton Toon – And add to that that Simo is apparently the best RB statistically in the league, think we need to be careful that we’re not getting ahead of ourselves and start asking for a bit too much!

  • Slank

    Apr 20, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    Comment #11

    Everyone is agreed that we need another centre back but I’m not sure we need another French speaker. I suspect that Pardew and Carr are very aware of keeping the right balance between the nationalities at the club. It’s a fine balance.

    Having failed in the summer to get a centre forward it was no surprise at how quickly the club did the deal for Cisse. In my opinion I believe the club have already lined up a centre half and will act quickly as it was glaringly obvious following Saylor’s injury that this was the area where we were very deficient. Who arrives I don’t know but it will be soon after the transfer window opens. This seems the way the club now operates, thank goodness.

    I also believe we will bring in a left back who has a left foot. It doesn’t make sense at the moment to have Santon and Jonas both right footed operating on the left.

    I’m fairly confident that Carr, Pardew and Charnley will do the business and do it quickly.

  • Tsunki

    Apr 20, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #12

    LewSpi @ 6 – Awww thanks mate! 🙂

    Still didn’t shut him up though did it ha ha. He does me nuts in sometimes lol

  • Tsunki

    Apr 20, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #13

    Yes it’s the usual smoke and mirrors stuff and long may it continue, this way Arsenal and the like have to buy ALL our targets just to be sure he he. One of them will be the real signing…but which one????? Keep ’em guessing lads! 🙂

  • jarnytoon

    Apr 20, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #14

    @Hatem’s better than Messi

    Don’t get me wrong, I know the club have worked wonders with relations in France and we are an attractive option for french players, i just think with Arsene being french and the majority of his signings being french since the start of his tenure at Arsenal, i believe if he went in for this one he may well get him.

    that and arsenals current crop of CB’s, besides the starting pairing, are cack. Think i read somewhere he’s having a clear out of the dead wood (djourou etc).

    i’m always hopeful though….been very optimistic recently 🙂

  • Auzzie_Toon

    Apr 20, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #15

    I think its time we stopped talking about who we were actually scouting and throwing a couple of dummies. Lets be honest if everyone knew how Tiote, Ba and Cisse (to name a few) would go we would not have got them. The bigger clubs would have paid more so we might start losing players due to the fantastic work of the scouts..

  • zimtoon

    Apr 20, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #16

    He is a very good player,will most probably lift the french league this year


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