Cheick Tiote has revealed that he knows new signing Chancel Mbemba well.
Even though he only played a handful of times as a young player for the club, Tiote says that he regularly goes back to watch Anderlecht and over the last couple of years watched Mbemba play often and got to know him off the pitch.
Cheick Tiote left Anderlecht as a 22 year old for FC Twente back in 2008 for around £500,000 but has retained a link with them, also watching them play a lot on TV.
The Newcastle midfielder has also faced Chancel Mbemba in African Cup of Nations matches and likes what he sees.
Cheick Tiote speaking to the official NUFC website:
“I used to play for Anderlecht – Chancel (Mbemba) wasn’t there at the same time but when I have gone back to Belgium to watch them play, I met him and got to know him.
“I have seen plenty of him too on television in Anderlecht’s games, I have also played against him in Africa Cup of Nations qualification games, so I know all about him”
“He is very good player, who has good technique and very good at passing the ball, he’s a strong defender and will help the team a lot. It is a great signing for us, he is only young but could be a very important player for us this season.
“The squad is looking good, with Chancel, Alek and Gini coming in, and we are excited about the new season.”
It is unlikely that either player will start against Southampton on Sunday, with Cheick Tiote only seeing 45 minutes of pre season action against Gateshead and Mbemba only 28 minutes against Borussia Monchengladbach (to see the minutes played by every Newcastle player in pre season go HERE).