Chancel Mbemba seems to have been out of favor with Rafa Benitez this season and he has played very rarely after being a starter alongside Fabricio Coloccini in his first season on Tyneside last term, when he did very well.
Mbemba had a disastrous game in the 2-0 defeat against Wolves at St. James’ Park on 17th September, to end a six game winning streak.
And the DR Congo International has hardly played since then and has made just 8 appearances all season after playing 35 times in the Premier League last season.
Chancel Mbemba – out of favor this season
Rafa has talked about him toda,y as reported in the Chronicle:
“When he came back from Gabon he was a little bit stiff with a few problems.” “But this week he has been training better.”
“So the problem I have now is the competition between players.”
“They are doing well, and imagine we have 27 players, just two injuries, so 25 players have to compete for just 18 places.”
“We signed Hanley because we were looking for players with experience in the Championship.”
“He is a great professional, good for the team spirit, and when he has had to play he has done well.”
“We are happy with his contribution and hopefully he can do better between now and the end of the season.”
Grant Hanley has played well when he’s played for the first team and he could start today at Molineux in what is another crucial league game for the Magpies.
We’d be very surprised if Mbemba gets a start today.
What do you think?