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Jeando Fuchs has shared pitch with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe but Dundee United new boy expects tough challenge in Scottish football

Dundee United new boy Jeando Fuchs had to mark Brazil star Neymar on his Cameroon debut.
Dundee United new boy Jeando Fuchs had to mark Brazil star Neymar on his Cameroon debut.

He’s rubbed shoulders with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar but Dundee United new boy Jeando Fuchs insists adjusting to Scottish football will be a challenge all the same.

Fuchs made his Cameroon debut against Brazil in 2018, lining up against Neymar out of position at right-back, and also played with fellow-PSG star Mbappe for France at youth level.

The former Sochaux and Alaves midfielder won the U/19 Euros in 2016 alongside Mbappe but insists that does not automatically make him a star in Scotland and says he’ll have to earn the right to play for the Terrors.

“It was a very good experience because Brazil is Brazil. They have so many good players,” the 23-year-old said.

“It was my first experience with the national team and I played at right-back against Neymar.

“After 20 minutes Neymar went off and I was like ‘phew’.

“There was a lot of pressure, but it was good.

“It was a great challenge for me against Neymar. Before that I’d played Ligue 2 while I also played against Champions League players, Ligue 1 players.

“It was great for me to play against someone like Neymar, for me to judge myself.

“I would hope to be a star in Scotland, but I don’t know, we will see.

“I will look to work hard and keep my focus on my objective and the team’s objective. After that we will see what kind of season I can have.

“It’s not the same, of course, but every game is different. At some times you can stop every player, but other weeks it can be different.”

Jeando Fuchs, who captained France U/21 at the 2018 Toulon Tournament, could face St Johnstone’s Jason Kerr (right) again this weekend.

Fuchs moved from Cameroon to France as a six-year-old in 2003 and recalls winning the Euros with his adopted homeland with fondness.

He continued: “It was a great experience. All the players in that team are playing with big teams now – nobody quite as big as Kylian of course – but it was a great learning experience.

“Kylian is a friend. We don’t speak as often as we used to – our careers have taken different paths – but sometimes we stay in touch.”

Asked if he could tempt the megastar to Tannadice, Fuchs added: “If he leaves Paris then why not?!”

He has experience of playing in France, Spain and Israel with Maccabi Haifa but Fuchs is hopeful more first-team opportunities at United can give his international hopes a boost.

Before making the move to Scotland, the box-to-box midfielder spoke to compatriot and former Hearts man Arnaud Djoum.

Fuchs said: “I speak with one player who also plays for Cameroon, Arnaud Djoum, and he played in Scotland before. He told me it was a very good league.

“Arnaud said it would be very good for me to learn as a player. It is like England.

“I am friends with the West Ham defender Issa Diop and Yakou Meite at Reading, also.

“They have told me this can be a good move for me.

“I hope it does help me play for Cameroon. I am young and I need to play.

“There is a new manager for Cameroon and he just wants his players playing for their clubs.

“And if I do a good job for Dundee United then it can be good for me and my country.”

Fuchs was in two weeks of precautionary coronavirus quarantine after joining the Tangerines earlier in the month.

Jeando Fuchs had been in coronavirus quaratine.

However, he is now with the rest of the squad, enjoying life at a new club and with new team-mates – including club interpreter and goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist.

Via the Swiss, Fuchs commented: “I am fine, quarantine was difficult because it was just two weeks stuck inside the house. Thankfully, I had my family so it would have been a little bit more difficult if I was alone.

“I’m here with my girlfriend and my five-month old boy – sometimes that could be difficult!

“In the house I just had to work on the bike and in the garden.

“This is all new for me. It’s a new chapter but it’s good. Everyone in Spain told me the weather in Scotland is always cold but no, the weather is good now!”

Saturday’s trip to face St Johnstone in Perth might come too soon for the Cameroonian but Fuchs says he is itching to pay back the faith boss Micky Mellon has shown in him.

He said: “I feel good because it’s a young team and there’s a good mentality.

“Hearing the manager say I would make the team better was nice, it gave me confidence and when I come here if the manager believes in me then it really helps.

“I want to give back his confidence.

“In my last club I didn’t play for some reason but I have come to Scotland to play and improve.

“If I am good then, hopefully, the manager will let me play and it can be a good environment for me to develop as a player.

“I believe the manager can progress my career also because he too played as a midfelder. I can learn from him.

“You can learn from everybody. They will each have something to help make me better.

“I don’t know when I can play. It is the manager who will take the decision.

“If he thinks I am ready then let’s go. If not, then I wait.”

ANALYSIS: 5 areas of improvement for Dundee United including getting the ball to Lawrence Shankland more and stretching the pitch

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