How should Newcastle United get Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa into their team?

Newcastle United

Newcastle United's most expensive January signing has so far been making his appearances for his new club from the bench, where should Alan Pardew look to slot Yanga-Mbiwa into his first team?

As well as the immediate impact Newcastle's new signings have made, it's also likely that the club will enjoy the benefit of their January window for many seasons to come due to the age and potential of the players brought in.

Moussa Sissoko has so far been the star of the new men, with two goals and two assists in his three appearances, but Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa could end up being the best player of the all.

However so far the young French player has been consigned to the bench for Alan Pardew's team, with Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor looking solid in his favoured centre back position. In the long term, it's likely that Yanga-Mbiwa will wrest a starting position from one of those two, but right now it would be understandable if Alan Pardew decided to stick with the more experienced pair to try and guide Newcastle away from relegation.

But Yanga-Mbiwa is too good to stay on the bench, and it would be wise to get him playing regular Premiership football as soon as possible. One way to do this could be to bring him into the midfield in place of James Perch. Perch is undoubtedly a hard-working and completely committed player for his side, and his adaptability has seen him plug a hole in almost every position on the pitch at one time or another, but he is perhaps not of the class the players around him are.

Bringing Yanga-Mbiwa in for Perch would give the Frenchman a chance to get experience of Premiership football in a slightly less exposed position than at centre back, and would allow Newcastle to keep Taylor and Coloccini in place for the moment. Yanga-Mbiwa has played in a defensive midfield role before, and he no doubt has the attributes to be successful in that position in the Premier League.

It would be surprising if he wasn't installed at centre back even by the end of the season, but in the immediate future, playing him in midfield could be the best way to get him into the starting eleven.

images: © akuppa, © machernucha

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