With Cheick Tiote anything away from Newcastle in January, then Newcastle could renew their interest in Nice’s 22 year-old midfielder Nampalys Mendy, who has played for all the French Youth sides and 5 times for the France U21 side.
Nampalys Mendy – 22 year-old Nice midfielder
With Cheick’s recent interview it does appear that Arsenal want the Ivorian and probably in January, although Newcastle would be stupid to let him go then, but we’ve done that twice before – letting one of our best players leave in the January window – Andy Carroll and Yohan Cabaye and failing to replace them.
While we hope Newcastle have learned from their past mistakes we still wouldn’t put it past them to cash in on Cheick in January and then struggle to replace him.
Newcastle have been credited with an interest in the 5′ 6″ tall player since early this summer, and he has played at Toulon and Monaco before joining Nice in June of last year.
The quote on Cheick Tiote is he would go for £16M – so the Mike Ashley philosophy of football would say we could sign his replace for about a third of that figure – say around £6M – after all Newcastle always have to make a (big) profit.
He is just 5’6? tall, and the way he plays is simple and reliable, and he has therefore been compared with the great former 77 times capped French international Claude Makelele, who is one inch taller, and ended up paying 140 times for Real Madrid and 217 times for Chelsea.
Mendy spent three seasons at Monaco and played 80 times there, and in the summer of last year became a free agent and joined Nice, where he played 19 times last season.
Newcastle checked on the midfielder a number of times last season, and we expect Chief Scout Graham Carr and his team to continue checking on the defensive midfielder this season.
Even if Cheick does not leave in January, it would be a good bet that the Ivorian would push for a move next summer, and Newcastle do find it hard to keep their best players these days, because we cannot even offer them European competition these days.
Nampalys was born in La Seyne-sur-Mer in south-east France, and started his youth career at nearby Toulon, where he played for various clubs, but he then caught the eye of Monaco scouts for his simple and intelligent play, and in the summer of 2007, at just 15 years old he was signed by Monaco.
This lad is a very competitive player and a great passer of the ball, and like all great players he likes to play the simple pass and also has great positional awareness, and that’s very important, especially if you play in defensive midfield.
This lad would be a decent signing, but he couldn’t be expected to come into the side in January and immediately perform, and what has happened this season should make Newcastle wary that when we sign players from the continent, it takes some (considerable) time for them to adjust to English football.
We hope Newcastle are not stupid enough to allow Tiote to leave in January – but you never know with Newcastle these days – and our standing in the football world has already dropped again this season.
What do you think?
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