Marco Fabian is a Mexican international who has 42 caps and 9 goals for his country. He joined MLS club Philadelphia Union this past February from Eintracht Frankfurt. At Frankfurt, Fabian played with Newcastle’s new left-back Jetro Willems for 2 seasons.
The Chronicle have done interviews with some of Jetro’s former teammates. Fabian is one of those interviewed about the 25-year-old.
Fabian spoke a little about his time with Willems at Frankfurt. Fabian had been with the Bundesliga club for just one year when Jetro joined in the summer of 2017 from PSV. He says that he could see that Jetro was a driven individual from the start:
“Jetro can play everywhere. I knew about his time in Holland, and we were talking a little about this because in Holland he played good but, he wanted more.
“Every time he wanted more so when he went to Eintracht, the first year was not the best year for him but after he started playing a lot and he showed his skills. He showed how he played, and everyone loved him.
“Afterwards, he started talking like before. He wanted more – ‘I want to go to a bigger club’ – and I think he has a good future. Right now, he is at a big club like Newcastle, and I think he wanted more for that reason. He worked a lot, and I think he can show how he can play for sure.”
By the end, Jetro was not enjoying the best of times at Frankfurt. In fact, right before his move to Newcastle, Jetro had done some interviews in the German press about his agent trying to secure a move for him.
He had become a back-up defensive midfielder and desperately wanted to find a club where he could play in his favored left-back role. He ultimately got his move to Newcastle, and it was a long time coming for him.
Jetro Willems– signing for a big club
Jetro had been on Newcastle’s radar for some time. He had been linked ever since his good friend, and former PSV teammate, Georginio Wijnaldum joined Newcastle in the summer of 2015. Though at the time Jetro had just sustained a second significant knee injury that would keep him out until the following January.
He had suffered his first major knee injury in April 2014, in addition to two other minor knee problems in 2012 and 2013. Another Mexican international Andres Guardado, who is currently plying his trade at Real Betis, also made some comments in the Chronicle about our Dutch left-back.
This is what Guardado, who played with Jetro at PSV for three seasons, had to say about Jetro’s struggle with his knee injuries:
“He has a strong personality. In fact, that has been the key in his career. In spite of him being young, he always gave his opinion, tried to impose his style, and that made him different.
“Luckily, I only experienced his second injury. I think that every player who has had complicated injuries during their career always come back stronger than before, especially in a mental way. This strong mentality helped him and he became a more mature player. That period maybe helped him to clarify his mind and to keep growing in his career.”
Jetro seems to be past his injury woes for now. With Matt Ritchie sidelined for the next two months, Willems will get a run-out on the left for Newcastle. If he is as determined as his former teammates claim, he may make the position his own for the foreseeable future.