Considering A) our initial asking price and B) the fees talented young players seem to demand in this day and age, this is an absolutely pitiful amount for us to have received in the end.
That being said, this perhaps shows just how keen Rafa was to move the 24-year old on – also explaining why it took so long for the deal to go through (with us presumably keen to get much more but buckling in the end).
Not only was he clearly out of his plans (having failed to make a single Premier League appearance in 2018), Benitez was probably desperate to sell anyone he could (within reason) given his limited budget was only going to be topped up via player sales.
£4m seems far too cheap in this day and age, although we did manage to snap up Fabian Schar at a release clause price of just £3m as a result – so it may balance itself out in the end.
Six weeks from the deal going through and it’s fair to say Mbemba’s start to life in Portugal hasn’t quite gone to plan.
He got injured in training just days after signing and he’s yet to return to action – with him also missing from DR Congo’s latest squad, suggesting he’s still struggling.