Sport

Saturday 23 August 2014

Yanga-Mbiwa completes Toon move

Published 22/01/2013 | 20:30

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Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, left, has signed for Newcastle for an undisclosed fee

Defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has completed his much-anticipated move to Newcastle from Montpellier for an undisclosed fee.

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The France international has been heavily linked with a move to Tyneside in the January transfer window, with a fee agreed for the centre-back on Saturday. And Yanga-Mbiwa agreed a five-and-a-half-year deal to strengthen Newcastle's backline.

"It is an honour to be able to come to Newcastle United and have the chance to play in the Premier League," Yanga-Mbiwa told the club's official website.

The 23-year-old came through the youth ranks with Montpellier and made over 200 appearances in six years with the reigning Ligue 1 champions, but a move to the north-east looked increasingly likely after he told their official website he would relish playing in the Barclays Premier League.

And after becoming the Magpies' second signing of the January transfer window - after compatriot Mathieu Debuchy - he added: "Newcastle are one of the biggest clubs in the league, and I'm going to try and give everything I have so that the team can do well.

"I have experienced a lot of positive things so far in my career and one of those is joining this club."

The transfer is likely to alleviate some worries Newcastle have over their backline, which has struggled to keep teams at bay in recent months - particularly in the away defeats against Manchester United and Arsenal over the festive period.

Boss Alan Pardew said: "We needed to strengthen the team and bringing in Mapou will give the whole squad a boost. He is precisely the sort of player we've been looking to bring to the club.

"He is a good age for us but has plenty of experience at club and international level.

"Mapou is a talented footballer, good in the air and on the ground and has all the attributes to succeed as a quality defender in the Premier League. He's a good character too and that will be important for us over the next few months."

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