Wolfsburg fans will get a glimpse of Kevin Mbabu at the UEFA Nations League finals. - © getty
Wolfsburg fans will get a glimpse of Kevin Mbabu at the UEFA Nations League finals. - © getty

Kevin Mbabu: Who is Wolfsburg's Switzerland international defender?

He's a full Switzerland international, who's played with Paul Pogba and made an impression on Jose Mourinho - but what else is there to know about new Wolfsburg right-back Kevin Mbabu?

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Kevin Mbabu

Age: 24
Club: Wolfsburg
Position: Right-back
Country: Switzerland (four senior international caps)

Born in Chene-Bougeries in Switzerland, to a Congolese mother and a French father, Mbabu started out in the youth team of second-division club Servette. After making his first-team breakthrough, the 6'0" defender went on to play for Newcastle United's U23s and senior side. He made three English Premier League appearances across three seasons in England, and also spent a short spell on loan at Scottish record champions Glasgow Rangers, before returning to Switzerland in 2016 with Young Boys.

A Swiss Super League runner-up in his debut campaign at the Wankdorf, Mbabu played a key role in helping Young Boys win back-to-back league titles in 2017/18 and 2018/19. He was named Swiss Football League Player of the Year 2018, and also graduated to the Switzerland national team during his time at the Bern-based club. The right-footer will inherit Wolfsburg's No.19 shirt from the late Junior Malanda, who tragically lost his life in a car accident on 11 January 2015.

Mbabu put a disappointing spell with Newcastle United behind him at Young Boys. - imago images / Geisser

Plays a bit like: Kyle Walker

Mbabu would give Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale a run for his money in a foot race, but as a marauding right-back by trade he's perhaps more in the mould of Manchester City and England defender Kyle Walker. His pace his his biggest asset, in any case.

Did you know?

In 2010, Mbabu was invited for a week-long trial at Manchester United, where he trained with the U18s and reserves. As he spoke French, he was chaperoned by future world star Paul Pogba, who made a real impression on the young Swiss.

"He looked after me and showed be the ropes," Mbabu recalled of the 2018 FIFA World Cup-winning midfielder. I'm really lucky to have got to know a player who has grown into such a big star. He was a really nice guy."

Mbabu and Pogba renewed acquaintances in the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League group stage, with Young Boys losing 3-0 at home and 1-0 at Old Trafford.

Mbabu (l.) might have been playing with, rather than against, Paul Pogba (r.) in another life. - getty

What they're saying

"He's particularly strong and quick, and he's a player who will fit in well at Wolfsburg as a footballer and as a person." - Wolfsburg managing director director Jörg Schmadtke

"He's a very good player, and he's only becoming more experienced by playing in the UEFA Champions League and for the national team." - Jose Mourinho