NEWCASTLE new boy Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is ready to make an impression on the Premier League, according to Yoan Gouffran.
Defender Yanga-Mbiwa was signed from French champions Montpellier last month and is yet to start a Premier League game, but fellow newcomer Gouffran is in no doubt he’s ready – if needed.
“We can rest assured we have real quality in Mapou,” said Gouffran.
Captain Fabricio Coloccini was forced off against Southampton last weekend with a back injury, and should he fail to prove his fitness, Yanga-Mbiwa will come into Alan Pardew’s starting XI against Swansea on Saturday.
Pardew is hopeful Coloccini will be fit to line up at the Liberty Stadium However, having seen Yanga-Mbiwa seamlessly fit into his Europa League team, he has every confidence the France international is ready for a bigger role in the Premier League.
That sentiment underlined by Gouffran, who faced Yanga-Mbiwa, 23, during his time at Bordeaux.
“Of course, there are a lot of the other good defenders – like Colo and Steven Taylor – already here,” added Gouffran.
“Mapou’s a fantastic addition to the squad here. Let’s not forget that he was captain at Montpellier, and he has played for France as well at the very top level.
“He is a good player and a great defender. He’s young, but he’s already an international.
“It’s easy to forget that he’s only 23. He will bring a lot of stability to the defence at Newcastle.”
Newcastle, now up to 13th, are not short of confidence ahead of the game against Capital One Cup winners Swansea.
“Everybody’s on a real high – that was as good a performance as we’ve had all year,” said Pardew, whose side are now six points clear of the Premier League’s relegation zone.
Meanwhile, Magpies keeper Rob Elliot is ready to start repaying Newcastle’s faith in him – after finally getting his top-flight chance against Southampton, with first-choice Tim Krul injured.
“You don’t get paid for being a trainer – you get paid to win,” said the 26-year-old ex-Charlton goalie, who will keep his starting spot against Swansea.
“It is gutting when you don’t. From a personal point of view, you can only go out and play your best. You always just look to add to the team performance.
“Whether you are keeping the score from 2-0 to 1-0, saving a draw or contributing to a win, you just want to give something.
“You have to keep going – you can only deal with what comes at you.
“As much as I’d like to run out and tackle somebody when it’s not going well, you can’t. You just have to keep your head and deal with it when it comes at you.”