The Chronicle (Mark Douglas) is reporting today that Newcastle are scouting for a replacement for Cheick Tiote – so if that is accurate it tells us that Tiote has let it be known he’s the next player who wants to leave Newcastle, and we suppose that could even happen in January.
Nampalys Mendy – the new Claude Makelele
The report suggests we are interested in the France under-21 captain Nampalys Mendy, who is currently playing his football at Nice.
The 22 year-old defensive midfielder was at Monaco for three seasons from 2010, before he joined Nice in the summer of last year.
While at Monaco he played 80 times, and last season at Nice he played 19 times.
Nampalys has played for all the French Youth sides, and he has five appearances for the French U21 side, so he seems to have a good pedigree.
Mendy started his career at his home town club Toulon in the south of France, where he stayed until moving to Monaco in 2007, while still only 15 years old.
Mendy is only 5’6″ tall and because of his small stature, his simple distribution and reliability, he has been compared to former French international great Claude Makelele.
In fact while at Monaco club scout Didier Christophe referred to Mendy as a carbon “copy of Makelele”, and just like Makalele he doesn’t score many goals – in fact he has yet to score his first goal in his senior career. 😀
For the record Makalele scored 22 goals in 802 first team appearances in his career, and it’s not that defensive midfielders score many goals, given the role they play, and Tiote has one goal for Newcastle in 119 appearances.
From what we can tell Mendes fits almost exactly the profile of players Newcastle want to recruit – he is young – having only turned 22 in June – and seems to have the class to become an excellent player in the future – hopefully at Newcastle.
But it also tells us that if we are after defensive midfielders, then Cheick Tiote’s time at Newcastle is limited at best.
What do you think?
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