After Chancel Mbemba’s move to Porto was made official earlier this week, Rafa Benitez has hinted that the 23-year old struggled to ever ‘settle down’ in England and the city of Newcastle – perhaps suggesting he did fail to learn English after all?
Mbemba was actually used by Benitez during his first 12 months at the club, however it’s been said on several occasions that the Spaniard felt he was unable to ‘follow instructions’ or a precise tactical plan.
This has been highlighted by Rafa’s total lack of faith in him over the past season, with him failing to even make a single matchday squad (in the league) in 2018.
Speaking about his move this week, here’s what Rafa’s had to say – suggesting that he knew he had ‘quality’, but feeling as though he never fully settled into the team, the city or the country, believing it would have made a ‘big difference’ on the pitch if he had:
“We are talking about a player where we know he has quality if we analyse him technically.
“After, you have to settle down in the team, the city and the country.
“All these things together can make a big difference to the performance of a player on the pitch.”
We don’t know the ins and outs, but this does seem to back up claims that Mbemba failed to ever get a full grasp of the English language – despite him having been at the club for several years.
He’s now completed a move to Porto – a deal which suits us down to the ground now we’ve signed Fabian Schar in his place – however there’s still a feeling of ‘what if’ amongst several NUFC fans.
A case of what could have been, but a good move for all parties given the fact he had little to no future under Rafa Benitez.
Benitez on Mbemba sale:
“We're talking about a player that we know has quality technically.
But, you have to settle down in the team, the city and country.
These things can make a big difference to players' performance."
— NUFC Gallowgate (@NUFCgallowgate) July 26, 2018