Why Newcastle's management won't bring back Yanga-Mbiwa - Is it true?

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Newcastle unlikely to bring back Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa once the season is done.

Newcastle sit in the Premier League's relegation zone, and they have a defender playing Champions League football on loan with Roma. So could they not do with him?

Well according to The Mirror, Newcastle do have the faith in Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa that he can be effective for them, and will not play him next season whatever happens either.

The reason for this, it is claimed is they believe him to be inefficient in one key area.

"The Magpies' management still believe the France international is ill-suited to the Premier League - especially when dealing with balls in the air."

We took a look at whether the Frenchman is as poor as suggested:

  PositionTeamSeasonAerial Duels Won per gameAerial Duels won %Appearances
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa DF Newcastle 2012-2013 1.5 53.85 14
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa DF Newcastle 2013-2014 0.65 41.67 23
Average  - - - 1.25 50.01 13.63

It is clear that looking upon last season's data, from which Yanga-Mbiwa played more games and is a bigger sample size, he did under-perform in this key area.

The number of aerial duels he won per game more than halved, slipping below average for players in the Premier League.

In his first season at the club, he won more than the 50 per cent of the aerial battles he contested, but slipped below that average mark last season, winning only 41.6 per cent.

It did show a decline in standard in this area, a crucial one for a centre-back to excel in. As shown below, Vincent Kompany, regarded by many as the best in the league, won 75% of those he contested.

  PositionTeamSeasonAerial Duels Won per gameAerial Duels won %Appearances
Vincent Kompany DF Man City 2013-2014 1.32 75.51 28

Whether this is all, is reason for Newcastle to get rid is a leap of faith, for the defenders at the club this campaign have hardly covered themselves in glory either, as their league position shows.

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