Newcastle United had been ready to ship Kevin Mbabu out on loan – now he’s stopping the defence shipping goals.
The 20-year-old defender made his full debut in last weekend’s 2-2 draw against Chelsea.
He was nowhere near (the first team), and we were looking to loan him, and now he’s playing in the first team against Chelsea.Steve McClaren
And Mbabu – who didn’t made a competitive senior appearance in his first two years in British football – was set to keep his place for this afternoon’s game against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
Head coach Steve McClaren will again be without left-backs Massadio Haidara and Paul Dummett, and right-footed Mbabu is pencilled in to play. However, he was a candidate for a loan to a Football League club – or even non-league Gateshead – earlier this month given the need for him to get competitive games under his belt.
Asked if he had been ready to loan out Mbabu before he lost Haidara to injury, McClaren said: “Yes, absolutely.
“Quite often, you’ve got to make that decision because it’s the only decision you can make.
“I think he did well enough (against Sheffield Wednesday in the Capital One Cup), and showed his mentality, for me to put him at left-back.”
Mbabu – who had previously been in Gateshead’s thoughts – went up against Chelsea’s ex-Barcelona forward Pedro. And McClaren said: “He was nowhere near (the first team), and we were looking to loan him, and now he’s playing in the first team against Chelsea.”
Mbabu spent the second half of last season on loan at Rangers, but he didn’t make a competitive appearance for the club, having been injured when he joined.