Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, 24, has been in the headlines this week following his poor challenge on former Arsenal attacking midfielder Samir Nasri during Newcastle United's controversial 2-0 loss at home to Manchester City.
The former Montpellier defender joined the Magpies in the summer for a reported fee of £8.5m. The French international defender has started 11 Premier League games this campaign as Newcastle United have so far consolidated a top half place.
The 24-year-old has been in solid form for Alan Pardew’s team, totalling 21 tackles, 26 interceptions and 74 clearances so far this season. However, the former French Ligue 1 winner has certainly annoyed fellow France international Samir Nasri as the defender rather recklessly hauled down the midfielder last Sunday.
On the incident, French reports have reported that Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has tried to apologise to his international team-mate for putting him out of action for 8 weeks by telephone, however his calls seemed to have been ignored.
Mbiwa was quoted as saying: ‘He (Nasri) regained the ball, and I just wanted to prevent him from going forward, so that he fell off balance.’
He adds: ‘It was certainly not my aim to hurt him. It was more a desire to trip him, but there was no malice.’
‘Unfortunately there was a consequence (Nasri’s injury).’
‘I tried as hard as I could to get his number, then called several times but he did not respond. I’ll try again to call him, because I want to apologise in person.’
One person taking a keen interest on the situation will be French boss Didier Deschamps. With the World Cup looming in Brazil this summer, the French manager can’t afford any disharmony in the squad as the French public still have the memories from France’s previous World Cup debacle in South Africa fresh in their minds.
image: © Brad Tutterow