Newcastle have just announced the signing of center-back Chancel Mbemba from Anderlecht on a five year deal, and it looked like the FA finally gave their approval for the GBE, a full eight days after Newcastle United requested it.
But all’s well that ends well – and Mbemba is another terrific signing for Newcastle this summer, and another £8.5M paid out which takes our spending on three players up to £35.5M – not a bad start.
Chancel Mbemba at St. James’ Park
This is the announcement that has just gone up on the Newcastle web-site.
Newcastle United have announced the signing of Anderlecht defender Chancel Mbemba after the club received a Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) for the player at an FA hearing on Thursday (30th July).
The deal is subject to Mbemba receiving the appropriate visa.
Mbemba becomes Newcastle United’s third signing of the summer, after completing the switch from Anderlecht. The 20-year-old DR Congo international defender has agreed a five-year deal on Tyneside.
Mbemba is now required to apply for his visa overseas, with the hope that he is then able to return to join his new teammates in Newcastle midweek.
Born in Kinshasa, Mbemba played youth football for a number of local sides in his homeland before joining Belgian giants Anderlecht in 2011.
After rising through the ranks at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium, he became a first-team regular and played a key role in Anderlecht being crowned Belgian Pro League champions in 2014, as well as lifting back-to-back Belgian Super Cups in 2013 and 2014.
He played in all six of Anderlecht’s group stage games in the Champions League last season, scoring both goals in their 2-0 home win over Galatasaray in November 2014.
Speaking of his move, Mbemba said:
“I’m very, very happy to be here. This is the biggest league in the world and I’m very proud to wear the shirt for this team and play in this league.”
“I’m going to do everything I can to help make the supporters happy, to help out my teammates and to bring something extra to the team.”
“I know the team very well. I’ve watched the Premier League and I know this is a massive team with big players and with a great coach.”
“I’ve come here to Newcastle United because it’s a very good move in my career to play for such a famous club. I am excited for the season ahead.”
Newcastle United head coach Steve McClaren added:
“We are delighted that Chancel is now a Newcastle United player after it took a little longer than we had hoped.”
“He is a proven performer at the highest level, he’s powerful, combative and will add quality to our defense. He also has an eye for goal which is an extra asset for us.”
“We will get him integrated into the squad quickly once he is with us. Unfortunately, due to the time it takes to process the visa application that won’t be in time for our final friendly on Saturday, but our focus will be to make sure he will be ready and available as soon as possible.
“I’m sure our supporters will take to him very quickly. He’s the sort of player fans will enjoy watching.”
This is a fantastic signing for Newcastle, and we’ve had to wait for about a week while he got his approval to apply for a visa from the FA – notice the visa has not yet been approved – but it will be.
Credit goes to Managing Director Lee Charnley for what turned out to be a difficult and drawn out signing, since the FA delayed their three man committee hearing on giving their approval on the visa application until today – but gave it this morning.
Chancel is such an important signing for us, because he will help to plug those holes in Newcastle’s central defense.
Chancel is a top class player who seems delighted to being able to join his former Anderlecht team-mate – Aleksandar Mitrovic at Newcastle United.
He will not be able to play on Saturday against Borussia Monchengladbach as Steve has said, which means he will have to probably have some practice games and be introduced gradually into the first team.
There’s also news today that Ivan Toney – the 19 year-old Northampton striker – is having his medical at Newcastle today.