Last night saw ex-Newcastle defender Kevin Mbabu qualify for the Champions League group stages after beating Dinamo Zagreb 3-2 on aggregate having drawn 1-1 at home and won 2-1 in the away fixture. The 23-year-old defender left the club last summer and the fans still aren’t sure why.
Congratulations to former #NUFC defender Kevin Mbabu who has tonight qualified for the UEFA Champions League with Young Boys.
— NUFC 360 (@NUFC360) August 28, 2018
Mbabu has the versatility to play anywhere across the backline and with the current lack of depth at full-back, it seems really strange that Rafa Benitez let him go. At the moment, the club have just Paul Dummett, DeAndre Yedlin and Javier Manquillo to fill in at full-back and when Yedlin and Manquillo were injured in their opening two games it makes the decision to have let Mbabu go look even worse.
At the age of 23, the young defender has loads of time to grow into the player he wants to be and under the tutelage of Rafa Benitez, he had all the potential to be a Premier League great with Newcastle United. It simply wasn’t to be at St James Park for the youngster and the fans will be watching on as the Young Boys defender will be competing in the Champions League whilst they continue to fight against relegation in the Premier League.
You can read the Magpies’ verdict on Mbabu here:
Still for the life of me cannot understand why mbabu was sold.Awful decision.Sold for a pittance.
— Martin Williams (@Nitramantra) August 28, 2018
One of the biggest mistakes we've done is to let him leave, he would be perfect now as a backup for Yedlin and Dummett
— Adrian (@Adrian____29) August 28, 2018
Newcastle really know how to buy and sell players…
— Thomas Salvesen (@salvis205) 28 August 2018
Another young talent that didn't get a chance at nufc.
— Gordon Wilson (@stangorwil) August 28, 2018
He's gone on to do better things. Fair play to him.
— Kepa Garyzabalaga (@GaryBMarshall) August 28, 2018
Could not understand him being sold. Would have been so valuable now.
— Pete Clarke (@Peteclarke85) August 28, 2018
Aye another bizarre decision by Rafa to not keep this young man @Kevin_Baboo definitely should have been on our bench but he seems to be doing well at Young Boys – Congratulations Kevin
— Frankie (@franktastic9) 29 August 2018
The fans are delighted for Mbabu on reaching the Champions League group stages but they’re gutted he wasn’t able to kick on in the Northeast.