It is perhaps an anti-climactic conclusion to the lowest key, drawn out "transfer saga" in the history of the transfer window. Newcastle United have today officially announced the signing of Chancel Mbemba, who today has been approved for a work permit. This follows with the suggestions that he would sail through the paperwork process as we've been told all along. He must now acquire the "appropriate visa" before he can finally join the team on the training pitch (again considered a formality). It doesn't dissolve frustration that the paperwork is now likely to rule him out for the last preseason match this Saturday against Borussia Monchengladbach.
With the days counting down to Newcastle's Premier League opener v. Southampton, Mbemba now faces an uphill battle to be prepared for the season, but will doubtlessly take his place in the middle of defense as soon as Steve McClaren feels he is there fitness-wise and feels familiar enough with whomever will be paired with him. In the meantime, much like his Anderlecht teammate Aleksandar Mitrovic, he is saying the things that will endear him to the Toon Army. From the club's official announcement:
"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."
Welcome, Chancel! Can't wait to see you on the pitch!