Newcastle United duo Aleksandar Mitrovic and Chancel Mbemba appear to have a real fight on their hands to get back into Rafa Benitez’s plans, with the Spaniard leaving the pair out of the entire squad for the second game running at Southampton yesterday.
It is said that Newcastle were open to offers for both over the summer, with it being continually reported that Rafa has trust issues with both, having doubts over their ability to carry out his specific tactical instructions on the pitch.
Mitrovic has been on fire for Serbia recently and started the season relatively well with goals against Forest and West Ham, however his elbow on Lanzini and resultant three match has done little to get him back in Benitez’s good books. An incident he’s still paying for over 6 weeks later, with the gaffer yet to include him in a single matchday squad since he returned from suspension.
Mbemba has done well at left-back when called upon, however has also been dropped from the squad over the last two games. He is very much 4th choice centre-back behind Lascelles, Lejeune and Clark and, despite his ability, he’s clearly a player Benitez has reservations over.
He had enjoyed a new lease of life at left-back, doing brilliantly their in the first few games of the season, however that is not a position that comes naturally to him, nor one he’ll be played at in the long term, with Dummett nearing a return and Rafa on the look out for a new left-back.
Get the feeling Mitrovic & Mbemba really are fighting losing battles to have a future at #NUFC under Rafa Benitez. Not in squad AGAIN y'day.
— Black&WhiteBarmy (@BlackWhiteBarmy) October 16, 2017
They’re two good young players who seem to love the club. I’d love to see them do well at Newcastle, but you can’t help but feel their long term futures may lie away from St Jame’s Park while Rafa is in charge?
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About Olly Hawkins
Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.