One of Rafa Benitez’ summer signings can’t wait to work with Peter Beardsley, believing he can improve his game a lot.
Friday saw a busy day for Newcastle and as well as 31 year old Jesus Gamez joining United, there were also two 20 year olds given contracts.
One of those was Yasin Ben El-Mhanni. the striker born in Aldershot to Moroccan parents.
Part of the Academy at Barnet, the forward later went f Farnborough Town, Aldershot Town and Lewes, before last season spending time at both West Brom and Chelsea, without managing to win a deal.
Trying to progress in the professional game, Yasin Ben El-Mhanni has earned the nickname of the ‘non-league Riyad Mahrez’ due to a series of appearances in videos showcasing some amazing ball skills, plus acting as a double for Ronaldo and Neymar in adverts.
The striker now says though that he wants to concentrate fully on making it at Newcastle and that ‘with those shoulders and those shimmies he dropped’, Peter Beardsley is the man to coach him and add things to his game.
Yasin Ben El-Mhanni talking to the official club website:
“I’ve been doing that from a young age, just mucking around on the streets, doing keepy-uppys and all that sort of stuff, I do it just because I like it really.
“I’d just watch videos of footballers on YouTube, like Ronaldinho. I ended up just trying to copy them. I think that’s where I got a lot of my skills from, just watching videos, trying to interpret what they do and add it to my game.
“I’ve been in commercials. I’ve doubled for Neymar, I’ve doubled for Cristiano Ronaldo and done their skills on camera, which was great. It was mind-blowing, really, to see people that you look up to on the pitch, and meet them in real life, in person. It gives you something to aspire to.
“I had to show them how to do a set of tricks. The directors would tell me what tricks to do, and I’d have to demonstrate it to them. Then they’d have to do it themselves.
“It (working with Peter Beardsley) will improve me a lot. I’ve watched his videos, with those shoulders and those shimmies he dropped! Being coached by him, I can learn a lot, and add things to my game. It’ll help me a lot.
“I definitely know what to expect in this league. Being at Chelsea has given me the chance to experience what it’s like to play competitive under 21 football and play against big clubs. I think I’m ready.
“A beautiful stadium (St James Park), it’s massive. I’d love to see it packed.
“It’s helped a lot, playing non-league football. It’s strengthened me in other areas where I was fairly weak, and it’s given me experience of men’s football, so I think I have the edge on a lot of players my age.
“I’m very happy to be a Newcastle player. After all these years striving to become a professional player and being given the opportunity, I think I’ll take it with both hands and do well. I’m very happy to be here.
“This is what I’ve been waiting for. Now I’ve been given the contract here, I just need to go all out and do everything I need to do, to train hard and see if I can get into the first team, hopefully.
“It’s a relief, but the hard work starts here I think. I’ve got to work harder now I’ve been given an opportunity.
“I want to play for Newcastle, and I want to play for the first team. I just need to prove myself on the pitch now.”