Steve McClaren is delighted to welcome Chancel Mbemba to Newcastle United, and has given the fans an insight into what to expect from the player.
The Magpies have been on the trail of the 20-year-old for much of the summer, and have now completed an £8.5million deal for his signature following his successful application for a work permit. Mbemba has already passed a medical and agreed personal terms, and will link up with his new team-mates next week once he has applied for a work visa in his own country.
Capped 17 times by DR Congo, the central defender has spent the past five years plying his trade in Belgium for Anderlecht, helping them win the league title in 2014. Although he is largely an unknown quantity in England, Newcastle head coach McClaren is confident the youngster will be an asset both in terms of shoring up his defence and also popping up at the other end too.
“Chancel is a proven performer at the highest level, he’s powerful, combative and will add quality to our defence,” said the former England manager. “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. I’m sure our supporters will take to him very quickly. He’s the sort of player fans will enjoy watching.”
Mbemba scored six goals in 63 appearances for his former club, and becomes Newcastle’s third signing of the summer. His Anderlecht team mate Aleksandar Mitrovic, the Serbian international striker, joined earlier this month for £13million, and Holland international Georginio Wijnaldum, who has already looked good in pre-season, signed from PSV Eindhoven for £14.5million.
Speaking after finally sealing his move to St James’ Park, Mbemba said: “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. This is a massive team with big players and with a great coach. It is a very good move in my career to play for such a famous club. I am excited for the season ahead.”