We have often talked about how Chancel Mbemba hasn’t had much of a chance since Rafa Benitez came to Newcastle.
And yet when Chancel comes into the side, as he did last August when Paul Dummett was injured, he has played very well.
In that case, it was at left-back, but he can play anywhere across the back four with center-back his preferred position.
Chancel can even play as the g=holding midfielder so he is a versatile defender.
Chancel loves it at Newcastle, but he hasn’t played much this season – only 10 times and only 13 times in the Championship last season.
Chancel Mbemba – last in action at Chelsea in FA Cup in January
Yes in his first year on Tyneside during our relegation season he was a star player and played 35 times.
In his press conference on Friday for the important game tomorrow night at Everton, Rafa said this about the former Anderlecht defender:
“He was training on Friday – and training well.”
“But the problem sometimes is, when the team are winning and you already have, in this case, four players in this position, it’s not easy for everyone in these times.”
“With five games left maybe he will have a chance. We will see. He’s training well.”
“Now is maybe the time that some players need to prove themselves.”
“So maybe I will make some changes to make sure that some players are given a chance to impress the staff and then think about their future.”
“Some players are playing for their futures.”
It looks like Rafa may still rate Chancel, and that’s a surprise.
So we could see the 23-year-old get a game before the end of the season along with other players like Mikel Merino, Ciaran Clark, Isaac Hayden and Jacob Murphy who have not played much this year.
It will still be a surprise to us if Chancel is still at Newcastle come September.
But we hope he is.