Newcastle United whizkid reveals why he snubbed Arsenal

Newcastle United youngster Kevin Mbabu previously had a trial with Arsenal, and has been opening up on his decision to sign with the Magpies.

Newcastle made quite a splash in the transfer market in January, with Moussa Sissoko and Mathieu Debuchy among several big name additions from France.

One who flew under the radar was the deadline day addition of Kevin Mbabu, a teenager who had played just 25 minutes of professional football.

Mbabu hails from Switzerland, and played for Servette, former club of Phillippe Senderos, and is a Swiss youth international.

Now he has turned 18 and had a few months to settle, he has been speaking in an interesting interview with L'Equipe about his time in England so far.

Mbabu, a defender, has been describing coming up against Cheik Tiote in training as like a player made of 'concrete', describing the midfield destroyer as a 'monster.'

He also revealed how it nearly could have been so different, also he almost ended up a Gunner, when he was 16.

"I went ten days with Arsenal. It was a tournament in Italy. In the end, they told me they wanted me and that they would discuss with Servette. I was ok, then I thought and I said no. I did not feel ready to go. Everyone spoke of the example of Djourou, but now I do not regret."

A year later though it was different. He was approached by Newcastle, who negotiated with Servette through January before the switch was confirmed on deadline day.

"I wanted to leave for a while. I had this opportunity, I have not even thought about it. When I went to visit the facility in December, I immediately thought: "This is the perfect club, this is the one I need!"

Quizzed if he made the right choice, he is unequivocal:

"Very happy even! Very, very happy.

"Every time I go out, someone looks at me strangely and asked me if I'm Kevin. It's just crazy! In Switzerland, when I said I was playing Servette, people had completely not care. Others said: "Servette? What is this?

"Here, you already have not necessarily need to say that you play Newcastle because people recognize you. But if you say, they are almost amazed. If it's me like that, I can not imagine for Cabaye!"

You can read the full fascinating interview here.

image: © mickyb59

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