Former Newcastle defender Kevin Mbabu has opened up on his time at St James’ Park, claiming he didn’t know he would have to work so hard to succeed.
The Switzerland international moved to the North East in 2013 and only made five senior appearances in four years in Newcastle, before leaving in 2017.
The 24-year-old spoke about his time in England, claiming that everything had come so easy for him before his big break, and expected that to continue in the Premier League.
That wasn’t the case, as Mbabu explained to the Chronicle: “But at the time I didn’t know how much I would have to put in to become a professional footballer because before I signed for Newcastle I was at Servette and maybe their biggest prospect – so everything would come easy.”
Mbabu added: “Coming to England made me realise that if I want to reach my goal I would have to work hard, and that is something I didn’t fully realise at the beginning.”
The right-back has recently secured a move to Wolfsburg, after enjoying two years of success at Young Boys.
It seems quite a strange thing to admit, if brutally honest, the fact that Mbabu didn’t realise he would need to work hard to become a professional footballer. The basis of all success is started with determination and grit – something that most probably explains why the 24-year-old failed so miserably during his time in the Premier League. To only make five appearances in four years at the club shows that Mbabu wasn’t cut out for English football so early in his career, and probably gave him the biggest fright of his life, something that made him into the success that he is today. Who would have thought that when he finally left St James’ Park, he would be playing Champions League football the year after? Newcastle definitely dodged a bullet at the time after a failed stint in the North East. Yes, they may full well wish they kept hold of Mbabu now, but at the time it was certainly a losing battle, one that they gave in on.