Life is great for Kevin Mbabu.

The former Newcastle United defender has made his international debut in a 6-0 win over Iceland, could play against England tomorrow, then a week on Wednesday is set to face Manchester United in the Champions League.

However, he was still gutted in the summer when not getting a move back to the Premier League.

A number of clubs were mentioned by the media, including Man United and Newcastle United.

It was one of Rafa’s stranger decisions, instead of giving the versatile full-back (can play right and left) a chance in the Championship season, the manager instead loaned Kevin Mbabu out to Young Boys (later making a permanent move for a nominal fee) whilst keeping Haidara at the club and bringing in Jesus Gamez who was hardly given a game.

Only making five appearances for Newcastle, plenty of fans liked what they saw, but it wasn’t to be.

Now he is talked about as a £10m+ defender and Newcastle are still looking for that elusive full-back cover, especially on the left. Difficult to believe he wouldn’t have been a better option than Manquillo.

Just shows that sometimes even the best managers make decisions that are hard to understand.

Kevin Mbabu speaking to La Tribune de Geneve:

Have you been able to sleep a bit or spent the night answering all the messages you received after the match (international debut as Switzerland beat Iceland 6-0)?

“It is true that I received quite a lot (laughs) . It was a special night, of course. My family came to the hotel, we spent time together and after that I went to bed. I assure you, I slept well.

“Everything is going on in recent weeks. The Champions League, the Swiss team. I try to manage all that, to concentrate on the game and only on the game. That’s how I’m going to progress. But for now, all I live is happiness.”

This Sunday evening, you fly to England, a country you know well …

“And that was very important to me. I spent four years and I have great memories. It’s like a homecoming for me.

“I enjoyed my stay in Newcastle. And England is a special country. I hope to play (there) soon, I really would like to return.

“I hope to play Tuesday of course, it’s prestigious to meet England (who play Switzerland at Leicester) , but I’m aware that others want to play too. I stand ready and I would be very happy to play this game.”

You say that you love England, but finally, you had to go back to Switzerland to explode at a high level. With hindsight, would you leave again as young (in 2013, at 18 years old)?

“Yes. I am here today thanks to all the stages of my career. England has been very helpful to me. Without it, I would not have the same path. Although I played little with the Newcastle first team, I learned a lot. Especially mentally. It is a very good experience that I do not regret at all.”

Would you advise a young man to go to England if he came to ask you the question?

“It all depends on the club. We can not answer “yes” or “no” to this question. It all depends on how the club works with young people. It is necessary to look if there are already players in his post, what is the project … In my case, I repeat, I do not regret my choice.”

You say you want to go back to England, but this summer, you stayed at Young Boys despite insistent rumors sending you abroad. With a few days back, can you come back on this end of transfer window?

“My wish was to go to a major championship, everyone knows it. It was not done for this time, no problem. With YB’s historic qualification for the Champions League, being part of the team that achieved this performance, it became difficult to leave. I look forward to living the next few months in Bern. The next challenge is the reception of Manchester United, it’s exciting.”



  • Kenny

    Buy back clause, sell on clause, not with the clubs clot Penfold doing the deals.
    f##king moron

  • Leicester Mag

    One kinshit decision to let him leave especially when set against ex Mackem mankini

  • SuperDesHamilton

    He’ll end up in Germany like his pal Nuhu

  • Wor Lass

    I`m not saying he`s not good enough but he wasn`t at the time he was released. In his first full season in Switzerland he had 10 yellow cards in 21 matches. Maybe he`s learned to time his runs and to judge when to dive in now. Good luck to the lad.

    • Down Under Mag

      He looked a lot better in his few appearances than some of the tripe we kept. I didn’t understand letting this lad go, he was far from the finished article but showed some potential. He’s gone on to prove himself, in an arguably lower quality league granted, but he looked decent in the national side the other night. Doubt we would be able to get him back though, his fee alone now makes him untouchable under fatty!

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    probably too expensive for us now

  • Mrkgw

    Fast developing a dislike for much of what our club now stands for. Talent wasting cheap and amateur outfit, despicable owner, crumbling ground and training facilities, non existent transfer budgets, laughing stock…. The list goes on but this is becoming dire now.

  • panther

    aye another that got away, list is growing all the time, mbabu, mbemba and mitro

  • Kenny

    Looks likes my posts are being deleted, getting as bad as the chronicle

    • Wor Lass

      They claim they do look at them on the Mag before they`re deleted but I have my doubts. It`s too easy for people to pi$$ you about.

    • Peaky

      Try saying you’ve got photos of your teachers naked…..they seem to be allowed !! 😳😳

      • Kenny

        it was in no way offensive, just called Penfold a moron,
        leazes uses it all the time.

        • Ron

          Shouldn’t be able to delete the truth. Weird.

    • Cushty lad

      Probably cos there mostly rubbish or just insulting Zzzzzz

  • mactoon

    I put Mbabu and Thauvin in the same category of players who never really got the chance here and were sold too early. Put Mitrovic, Merino and Saivet (loan) in that pot and I see a worrying trend developing. Why aren’t we giving these players a chance to develop instead of selling them.