Kevin Mbabu

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Swiss starlet Kevin Mbabu celebrated his 18th birthday on Friday - and his present was rather more impressive than the traditional tankard or keys.

The January signing from Servette played at St. James' Park for the first time in the under-21s' 4-0 win over Crystal Palace and put in an excellent performance both in attack and defence.

He had to wait patiently for international clearance to come through before he could begin his Newcastle career in earnest but made his debut at Stoke on Easter Monday and has been a regular for Willie Donachie and Peter Beardsley's side ever since.

Until now, most of his appearances had came on training pitches or non-league venues so his 76 minutes on the hallowed turf of United's famous stadium was a special occasion.

Gabriel Obertan scored a hat-trick while Rolando Aarons was also on target and right-back Mbabu told "It was a good present: my first game at St. James' Park and we won 4-0.

"All the team played well and that's what I wanted for my birthday. It's a very good present and I'm very happy.

"To play here in front of the fans and to show how I can play and show what I can do is good.

"It's very different. It's bigger, there is more space and you have to run more - that's why I came off, because I was tired.

"I'm very happy to play for this Club and I want to continue to play here."