Hamza Mendyl has revealed that he could have been a Newcastle player now, if it hadn’t been for work permit difficulties.
The Moroccan international says he was in talks with both Arsenal and Newcastle this summer and he thought he was going to be playing in the Premier League.
However, he was forced to admit defeat for now and instead signed for Schalke.
Newcastle have been desperate for competition at left-back for years now and with bot Gamez and Haidara having left, Rafa Benitez made clear he wanted to bring in another player for that position.
The 20 year old Hamza Mendyl became regular in the Lille team towards the end of last season and showed a lot of promise, leading to that eventual £5.5m move to Schalke on a five year deal.
Mendyl became a full international at the age of only 18 and ironically was selected for this summer’s World Cup finals in Russia ahead of Newcastle’s Achraf Lazaar.
Lazaar currently still stuck at St James Park despite Rafa Benitez not including him in his first team squad, the defender seeing a deadline day move to Genoa fail, as Newcastle were insisting on a binding sale at the end of a year’s loan.
As for this Newcastle squad, the shocking lack of cover at full-back on either side of the pitch has already been exposed, with Manquillo clearly not up to the job when filling in for Yedlin on Saturday at Cardiff.
Hamza Mendyl speaking to Kicker:
Reasons for switching to Schalke?
“I thought I could play a lot here and I know that there is a very good coach here who will help me to develop.
“I knew that Schalke is a very big club in Germany, my impression was already very good and since I am here, I am impressed that every day fans come to the training and watch us, the support is very big.”
A move to England failed?
“True, I had been in talks with Arsenal and Newcastle United.
“But being a Moroccan citizen it’s not so easy to get a work permit there.
“I thought I would be playing in England.”