Newcastle's YouTube sensation reflects on 'unreal' first appearance at St James's Park

St James's Park

St James's Park

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Yasin Ben El-Mhanni has reacted to his first goal for Newcastle United.

The 21-year-old, dubbed the "non-league Riyad Mahrez" before his summer move to St James's Park, netted in last night's 2-0 Premier League 2 Division Two win over Middlesbrough at St James's Park.

El-Mhanni – who had spells at Lewes and Farnborough and also posted videos of his skills on YouTube before joining Newcastle – scored United's second goal.

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"This is good, but not good enough," said El-Mhanni, who has stood in for Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo during boot adverts.

"I need to do more. This is the first time I've been in a professional environment, so I really need to take it seriously and hold on to it, because this is what I've been dreaming of all my life. Now that I'm here, I really need to take this opportunity with both hands.

"I need to add goals and assists, and if I can do that, I might have a good future here.

"I definitely need to create opportunities, because as an attacking player, you get judged on how many goals and how many assists you get – it's not about how many players you beat or how well you perform, it's all about goals and assists. That's the most important thing, so I need to keep providing that."

It was El-Mhanni's first appearance at St James's Park.

"I'm very happy," he told nufc.co.uk. "It was extraordinary to be at St. James's Park and play, and I'm really happy that I got a goal as well to top off my performance. I turned round to the boys and I was like 'I've got a goal, finally!'.

"It was unreal, and even though there wasn't a massive crowd, it was great. I was just looking to be myself and express myself out there."