- Chancel Mbemba
Still only 21 years of age, Mbemba wasn’t registered as part of Newcastle’s senior squad this season as they had 25 players above the age of 21 registered with the Premier league. Despite that however, the man from DR Congo quickly established himself as a first team regular and commanding centre half.
Strong, quick and good in the air, Mbemba looked like a player far beyond his years at times this season. On a few occasions he did look a little vulnerable but considering this was his first season in the Premier league, and at such a young age, Mbemba did extremely well, putting in some excellent performances. He has the composure and confidence to bring the ball out of defence and can pass well too. He is undoubtedly one of our best young players at the club. He quickly became a favourite of the fans too and already enjoys a good relationship with them.
In the final weeks of the season Mbemba formed what could be an excellent centre half partnership with Jamaal Lascelles at the heart of the Newcastle defence. It’s a partnership which would be much envied in the Championship and could grow into a solid backbone for Benitez to build from.
With Mbemba already one of the best defenders at the club, the future looks really bright for this young player. Again, under the guidance of Benitez, Chancel could well develop into a top class centre half. A season in the second tier won’t do anything to hinder his development as he will face new challenges there, particularly away from home at some difficult fixtures where United must dig deep to get results.
A potential star, Newcastle must hold on Mbemba and continue his development and his blossoming partnership with Lascelles.