It wasn’t long ago that Chancel Mbemba’s once promising career looked set to go from bad to worse following a move to Portugal.
After failing to earn the trust of Rafa Benitez, the 25-year-old sealed a £7m move to Porto almost two years ago now.
It started in nightmare fashion, with him suffering a freak injury in his opening pre-season outing for the club. A few months later, his debut season with the Portuguese giants saw him make us THREE league appearances all season under Sérgio Conceição – being left out of their matchday squad on FIFTEEN occasions across 2018/19.
It wasn’t looking good and made some wonder if Rafa was right after all, with him even exiled to Porto’s B team in the early months of 2019, however he’s turned it around in some style since then.
Not only is he now a regular starter, featuring regularly in their Europa League campaign and scoring twice in the Taça de Portugal (the Portuguese cup), The Chronicle claim he’s been receiving interest from a host of Premier League clubs before COVID-19 saw football grind to a hat.
Lee Ryder’s latest piece states that ‘Premier League scouts were flocking to Porto to watch Mbemba’ prior to the virus hitting. The same report also claims La Liga talent spotters have also been keeping a close eye on him, showing just how he’s gone from zero to hero since winning back his place at Porto.
Benitez struggled with his inability to follow instructions according to reports, with a language barrier said to be a concern, however he was often considered a talented player with impressive athleticism whose confidence on the ball, pace and reading of the game made up for his lack of strength and stature.
Good luck to him. His time on Tyneside is a case of what could have been, however it seems we might be seeing him back in England before too long.