Demba Ba’s early switch to Chelsea gave Newcastle a huge hole to fill in their front line, but other than their near miss with Loic Remy, it is at the back that Alan Pardew has sought to bring in new faces. With Debuchy already in the side, Yanga-Mbiwa and Haidara could be brought in early next week.
Although after the Remy gazumping Newcastle will know no deal is done until the player signs on the dotted line, if reports are to be believed, they are very close to signing both Haidara and Yanga-Mbiwa, with fees of around £2 million and £6.7 million rumoured to have been agreed.
All three signings would be excellent additions, with Yanga-Mbiwa standing out as someone who could become a rock in their defence for many seasons to come. The 23 year old is already a France international, and was vital to the Montpellier team that won Ligue 1 last year. Whilst Newcastle fans would have hoped that Yanga-Mbiwa would be able to line up with Coloccini, the 23 year old would be an excellent replacement should the Argentine be forced to return home this January.
What Haidara’s exact role in the side would be is yet to be seen, with the young left back either being brought in as a back up for Davide Santon, or perhaps as a replacement if rumours of Santon’s impending move to AC Milan are true. Either way, Newcastle would be signing an excellent young player who could become another staple in their side if he continues to develop as he has done thus far.
When Ba left it was assumed that Newcastle would need to strengthen their attack, and it would still be wise for them to do so in case Papiss Cisse cannot find the form he showed at this stage last year. However with Yohan Cabaye now fit, and Hatem Ben Arfa’s return on the horizon, Newcastle’s attack should improve even without new signings.
If they can complete deals for Haidara and Yanga-Mbiwa to go along with Debuchy, Newcastle’s defensive record should improve dramatically, and with most teams in this year’s gung-ho Premier League showing little desire to defend properly, that should be enough to keep Pardew’s team up.
image: © akuppa