Former Newcastle full-back Kevin Mbabu has admitted that he moved to Newcastle too soon in his career – saying he was not ‘ready’ physically for the ‘intensity’ of training and had the wrong ‘lifestyle’ in England.
Interestingly, he also mentions that he rejected Arsenal when leaving Swiss side Servette to join us as a 17-year-old.
As you probably know by now, Mbabu’s career has gone from strength to strength since he left the club last summer – with him not only impressing in the Champions league with new side BSC Young Boys, but now a regular member of the Swiss national side too.
Here’s what he’s had to say today when reflecting on his time on Tyneside:
“I was not yet 18, and left Geneva [Servette] for Newcastle. I also rejected Arsenal. England was not a success for me, but I learned a lot there.
“The experience of that time is part of what has become of me. The experience of the past is part of me. The choice of Newcastle was not very good. But it helps me today.
“Mentally, I was tested enormously. I was injured in England for almost two of the three and a half years, and I had muscle problems all the time. Six, seven injuries.
“Physically, my body wasn’t ready for the intensity in Newcastle training. I did not have the best lifestyle and was too busy with too many things.
“These can be reasons for injuries. Today I try not to repeat the mistakes. Development shows me that I am not on the wrong track.
It’s interesting that he admits to not having ‘the best lifestyle’ at Newcastle.
Perhaps some bad decisions and the fact he seemed fragile – both physically and mentally – meant Rafa could not trust him?
He’s clearly matured and looks a real player every time I watch him for Young Boys, however it seems clear that he made the big move to Newcastle too early in his career.