Chancel Mbemba’s DR Congo teammate Gabriel Zakuani has given the inside track on Newcastle’s latest signing.
Peterborough United’s Zakuani says that comparisons between Mbemba and Vincent Kompany aren’t over the top and if the Newcastle defender continues to progress,then he will be able to be put in that bracket.
Speaking to the BBC World Service, Zajuani also revealed that the ongoing debate about Chancel Mbemba’s age and various ‘birthdays’ (see details below) is a joke also shared by the central defender.
“I don’t think a day passes without mentioning his birthdays. He takes it all in good heart,”
“One day we woke up and it was someone else’s birthday in the DR Congo squad but instead of throwing a party for that player we decided to bring the party to Chancel and said to him ‘is this one of your birthdays?'”
Quite a big lad:
“It’s something that follows him but he’s a very good player.
“I’m on his side and to be honest, he is quite a big lad so I’ll agree that he’s 20.”
“I agree with the comparison many people make to Vincent Kompany.
“He plays that same aggressive game, doesn’t give his opponent any space to manoeuvre, he is very quick and reads the game well. He has got all the attributes that Kompany has and because he’s so young he can go as far as he can.”
In a probe into certain players’ ages, FIFA looked into the case of the defender from Congo.
Back in 2013 CNN reported:
‘Mbemba was registered by his two first Congolese clubs as being born in 1988, according to documents obtained by CNN. Yet for a Cup of Nations qualifier in June 2011, his year of birth was listed as November 30, 1991.
Meanwhile, the birth date recorded by his Belgian club Anderlecht is August 8, 1994.
Just to complicate matters, Mbemba himself, thinks he was born in 1990.’