Newcastle United has announced the signing of Anderlecht defender Chancel Mbemba after the club received a Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) for the player at an FA hearing held on Thursday. The deal is subject to Mbemba receiving the appropriate visa. Mbemba becomes Newcastle’s third signing of the summer, after completing the switch from Anderlecht.
The 20-year-old Democratic Republic of Congo international defender has agreed a five-year deal on Tyneside. Mbemba is now required to apply for his visa overseas, with the hope that he is then able to return to join his new teammates in Newcastle midweek. Born in Kinshasa, Mbemba played youth football for a number of local sides in his homeland before joining Belgian giants Anderlecht in 2011.
After rising through the ranks at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium, he became a first-team regular and played a key role in Anderlecht being crowned Belgian Pro League champions in 2014, as well as lifting back-to-back Belgian Super Cups in 2013 and 2014. He played in all six of Anderlecht’s group stage games in the Champions League last season, scoring both goals in their 2-0 home win over Galatasaray in November 2014.
Speaking of his move, Mbemba says: ‘I’m very, very happy to be here. This is the biggest league in the world and I’m very proud to wear the shirt for this team and play in this league. I’m going to do everything I can to help make the supporters happy, to help out my team-mates and to bring something extra to the team. I know the team very well. I’ve watched the Premier League and I know this is a massive team with big players and with a great coach. I’ve come here to Newcastle United because it’s a very good move in my career to play for such a famous club. I am excited for the season ahead.’
Toon boss Steve McClaren says: We are delighted that Chancel is now a Newcastle United player after it took a little longer than we had hoped. He is a proven performer at the highest level, he’s powerful, combative and will add quality to our defence. He also has an eye for goal which is an extra asset for us. We’ll get him integrated into the squad quickly once he’s with us. Unfortunately due to the time it takes to process the visa application that won’t be in time for our final friendly on Saturday, but our focus will be to make sure he will be ready and available as soon as possible. I’m sure our supporters will take to him very quickly, he’s the sort of player fans will enjoy watching.’
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