One to Watch - Youssouf Mulumbu
Name: Youssouf Mulumbu
Date of Birth: 25/1/1987
Nationality: DR Congo
Former Clubs: PSG, Amiens SC
League Appearances (Goals): 218 (14)
International Appearances (Goals): 12 (0)
Player Profile: Having faced West Brom a mere nine days ago, the colossal performance of Youssouf Mulumbu on Boxing Day is still fresh in my mind. The Congolese international bossed the Loftus Road pitch like it was his own, and with Steve Clarke declaring his interest in achieving cup success expect Mulumbu and another strong performance to feature. In terms of goals and assists, the 25-year-old is hardly prolific, but his superb work rate and presence on both sides of the ball has proven a priceless facet of this impressive West Brom side this season.
Mulumbu has been missing his partner in crime Claudio Yacob for the past couple of months, perhaps the reason why West Brom have not been as effective as they were during the opening games of the season, yet the midfielder has been a key figure for The Baggies; the simplicity to his game, as well as his runs on and off the ball and reading of the game has proved so fruitful to West Brom. Mulumbu declared over the summer he was ready to move on, with Newcastle and Spurs reportedly in talks, however nothing materialised and the West Brom fans have certainly been reaping the rewards having held onto their midfield maestro.
Youssouf Mulumbu was originally born in Zaire, however signed for Paris Saint-Germain in 2004, signing his first professional contract in 2006. He helped the French side reach the UEFA Cup last 16 in 2007 and spent the 2007/2008 season on loan at Ligue 2 outfit Amiens SC, where he netted once in 23 league appearances.
West Brom managed to wrap up a permanent £175 000 deal for the defensive midfielder in the summer of 2009, having initially joined The Baggies on loan the previous January. Mulumbu's first term at The Hawthorns was interrupted by injuries and he had to wait until April to make his Premier League debut, coming on as a sub in a 2-2 draw at Portsmouth. Mulumbu's energetic displays in the middle of the park saw him collect the two top awards at the club's 2010/11 End of Season Awards as he was voted Player of the Season by the players and fans.
Mulumbu further enhanced his reputation as a firm fans' favourite in April 2011 by scoring a last-gasp winner to end Albion's 26-year wait for a victory over derby rivals Villa. He has made 133 league appearances for West Brom and scored 12 league goals.
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