ALAN Pardew is hoping Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa’s leadership qualities come to the fore this season.
The defender captained Newcastle United in Tuesday night’s 4-2 win at Motherwell.
Yanga-Mbiwa also skippered former club Montpellier and Pardew is confident the January signing will become a strong voice on and off the pitch now he can speak English.
“He’s a leader,” Pardew said.
“That hasn’t really came out so far because of the language barrier, but you can see why he has been a captain at other clubs.”
Yanga-Mbiwa played across the back four in the latter months of last season.
And the versatility of the 24-year-old, having adjusted to the pace and power of English football, will be a strength to United over the coming months.
“I think he could be an important player for us,” added Pardew, whose team face Rio Ave in Portugal on Saturday.
Mbiwa was replaced late in the Motherwell game by South Tynesider Remie Streete.
It was 18-year-old Streete’s senior debut.
Streete, who is rated highly by Pardew, missed the first half of last season through injury but the defender is keen to impress this pre-season.