Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has struggled to get to grips with the English Premier League since he signed for us from Montpellier last January for around £6.5M, and while he may not be able to make it as a center-back, the French International could still make it at Newcastle in one of the full-back positions.
Louis Nicollin – the Montpellier President
But the Montpellier President Louis Nicollin didn’t approve of Mapou’s move to Newcastle, and he had this to say in L’Equipe in late January, when Yanga-Mbiwa chose Newcastle, with other clubs also interested in the player:
“He chose Newcastle? If so, he is an ass.” “It is not my fault but I think the manager (Alan Pardew) played a role.” “Newcastle, this is really not a good choice.”
“They will transfer him the next year.” “It doesn’t bother me. We’re not going to cry. He is not irreplaceable. The important thing is that we get money.’
The French defender recently lost his place in the Newcastle starting line-up to Mike Williamson, after the Frenchman gave a few poor performances in the center of the Newcastle defense, and it remains to be seen if he will be brought back on Saturday, if Coloccini cannot make it, because of the muscle injury he picked up while on International duty with Argentina.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa – has time to get accustomed to Premier League
So with the Montpellier President’s January statement in mind, it is not surprising that he had said this in L’Equipe today:
“I’m sorry for him. I love him a lot. He has followed the advice of his agent and he was wrong to leave.” “Don’t worry, he’ll come back to Montpellier.”
It’s far too early to call time on Mapou’s career at Newcastle - far too early – and if he can get to grips with the physical nature of the Premier League there’s no reason why he cannot have a good career on Tyneside.
And if the 24 year-old can do that, he will have become a much better player, and he could even be challenging for a place in the French squad for next summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
That’s the challenge for Mapou at Newcastle this season.
What do you think?