Kevin Mbabu has joined the ranks of Mehdi Abeid, Gael Bigirimana and to a lesser extent, Tamás Kádár. Youngsters who seemed to have some potential based on their early first team appearances, but were sold for one reason or another. Mbabu’s sample size was much smaller - only five Newcastle appearances - but one of those was against Chelsea when he kept Eden Hazard in his pocket all game, as well as looking decent going forward.
It’s no real surprise Newcastle have moved on from him permanently though, as he made 27 appearances out of 44 possible in all competitions for Young Boys last season, according to transfermarkt. Being a young squad player in a good Swiss team is fine, but it’s likely Newcastle were going to aim higher. On top of that, our squad is still massive and lacking in quality, this will certainly be the first of a few outgoings to balance the team and bring in funds. For now we can enjoy these highlights from his masterclass against Chelsea, one of the few bright spots in a dismal season.
With Vurnon Anita being let go on a free transfer, and Achraf Lazaar and Jesús Gámez seemingly not able to cut it in the Championship, one could argue it would make sense to let Mbabu fight for a place. Maybe that’s true, but I would hope the club and Rafa are aware they’ll need competition for Paul Dummett and DeAndre Yedlin, and that they acquire in that in form of an experienced player or two. Good luck to Kevin with his future career, you’ll always be appreciated in Newcastle and feared in Eden Hazard’s house.