Newcastle defender Yanga-Mbiwa is a leader, insists boss Pardew

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa
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NEWCASTLE boss Alan Pardew hopes Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa’s leadership qualities come to the fore this season.

The defender – who skippered former club Montpellier – captained Newcastle in Tuesday night’s 4-2 win over Motherwell.

And Pardew is confident that the January signing will become a strong voice on and off the pitch now he can speak English.

“He’s a leader,” Pardew said.

“That hasn’t really come out so far because of the language barrier, but you can see why he has been a captain at other clubs.

“I wanted to reflect that.”

Yanga-Mbiwa played across the back four in the latter months of last season.

And the versatility of the 24-year-old, having adjusted to the pace and power of English football, will be a strength to the Tynesiders over the coming months.

“I think he could be an important player for us,” added Pardew, whose team face Rio Ave in Portugal on Saturday.