Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has started his career in Italy very well indeed, and he is currently the top rated Roma defender after three games played.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa – playing great at Roma
But Mapou never looked the part at Newcastle, and when he was played at center-back his lack of heading ability and his poor positional play was too much of a negative, and that’s why he was often played at fullback while at Newcastle.
In addition, he made some wild challenges in and around the penalty area, and it could be that the slower pace and less physical style of play in Italy suits his style much better than the English way of playing the game.
Mapou had some terrible games for Newcastle, and two that come to mind was when we were hammered 6-0 at home by Liverpool, and then when we were 3-0 down at half time at Everton, before he was yanked from the game and replaced by big Mike Williamson.
But Mapou at times also played very well for Newcastle and looked the part too, and in last season’s 1-0 win at Tottenham he had an absolutely terrific game, and we always thought he needed more time to settle down in the Premier League.
And by letting him go on loan to Roma for the season, on the last day of the transfer window, we now have only three experienced center-backs in the squad, and heaven help us if first choice pair Colo or Willo get injured this season.
The news is that Roma want to make the deal permanent, and Newcastle have offered the French International at a knockdown price.
Newcastle paid €8.5M (£6.8M) for the player from Montpellier in January of last year – but it looks like he will leave for a lot less than that.
Mapou played 46 times for Newcastle United.
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