Youssouf Mulumbu With rumours of Cheik Tiote parting ways with the club refusing to die down, it’s essential that the club keep monitoring potential replacements to our talented defensive midfielder.
Fans will therefore be pleased that the club have apparently held discussions with West Brom’s Youssouf Mulumbu, albeit with Tottenham also on the prowl.
I’m sure many of you will have seen Mulumbu in action, having played a big part in The Baggies’ last two seasons in the Premier League. He has scored 8 goals in 68 appearances in the top tier of English football since signing on a permanent basis from PSG in 2009.
But his goalscoring isn’t the primary reason as to why Newcastle have expressed interest in him. The 25 year old is an expert at reading the game and breaking up the play in front of the back four, something that we will desperately need if Tiote were to seek pastures new.
Admittedly, Mulumbu isn’t a brilliant passer of the ball, but we don’t necessarily need him to be. It is anticipated that he would play alongside Cabaye, our talismanic Frenchman who certainly has an eye for a pass. An ideal centre midfield pairing is always one with a playmaker and, effectively, a rock in front of the midfield. This is why the Cabaye/Tiote partnership was so successful, but I don’t see why Mulumbu couldn’t contribute to a similar force in the centre of the park.
Mulumbu is also renowned for making late surges into the box to find the back of the net. This makes it difficult for defenders to track him, thus making him capable of scoring goals in and around the box.
The former Congo international has made no secret of his intent “to join a club in another class”. With qualification for Europe confirmed, it looks as though Mulumbu could find a move to St James’ Park appealing. However, as mentioned before, Tottenham are also very much in the running for the player and have also made contact with his agent.
But I feel that Mulumbu has to be a realist in such a situation. Spurs have plenty of central midfielders, whereas we have a vacant spot in our starting XI if Tiote leaves. So, what’s it going to be, Youssouf?
Current Ability: 3.5/5
Likelihood of signing: 3/5
Transfer value: £6.5 million