DR Congo are top of Group B for the African Cup of Nations, having beaten Madagascar 6-1 on 5th June and they have to play second top Central Africa on 2nd September and a draw in that game would get them through to the finals to be played in Gabon this January.
So it’s very possible that Newcastle center-back Chancel Mbemba will be away for a month for that tournament, so Newcastle will need to bring in more center-backs this summer.
Newcastle have already let Steven Taylor leave and Coloccini is almost certain to want to follow him out of Newcastle, after once again expressing his desire to go home to Buenos Aries and play for San Lorenzo.
Chancel Mbemba – 21 year-old Newcastle center-back
Rafa Benitez already knows he needs to bring in at least two center-backs this summer to shore up a defense that has been a weakness at Newcastle for the last four years.
In the last four years of the Premier League we conceded 255 goals – an average of over 63 goals a season and last season we conceded 65.
Why the defense was not strengthened over those four years we have no idea – but is another example of a badly run football club.
Rafa wants to add experience to his current squad, especially in defense where we have 21 year-old Chancel and 23 year-old Jamaal Lascelles currently at the heart of the Newcastle defense.
We have been linked with a number of central defenders already this summer including QPR’s Steven Caulker and Brighton’s Lewis Dunk.
Only this week Brighton are said to have turned down a bid of £5M for Dunk from a club – thought to be Crystal Palace, but manager Chris Hughton will not want to lose one of his best players.
Right-back Alvaro Arbeloa from Real Madrid is now a free agent and Rafa knows him well having bought him for Liverpool back in 2007 – and he would add some experience at the back and can operate in either full back position.
Benitez always like to build a side that is strong at the back and gives away few goals – so that’s one of the challenges he has at Newcastle as he starts to build a side that can hopefully win another trophy for the Magpies – soon.
We still to sign our first player this summer, with pre-season training due to start on 28th June, but we expect Rafa to bring in at least one new player by then.
What do you think?