When Chancel Mbemba left Newcastle for Porto two years ago, I think most Mags knew in the back of their mind we were letting go of a talented player.
Rafa Benitez had his reasons to move him on, and we can’t have too many complaints given how well the likes of Fernandez, Schar and Lascelles did under the Spaniard, however Mbemba’s rise to form over the past two years have turned a few heads on Tyneside – especially last night.
After forcing his way back into their first plans following a tough first season in Portugal, the DR Congo star has now become a regular member of their starting 11.
Last night, he came up against Manchester City in his first game on British soil since he was sold in 2018 – and he was Porto’s best player in their opening UEFA Champions League game.
Although Porto lost 3-1 to a flurry of late City goals, he got the better of Raheem Sterling and outshone former Ream Madrid defender Pepe.
Here’s some of the reaction we found on social media to Mbemba’s commanding display:
Chancel Mbemba defending well for Porto, another one we let go. I thought he was decent tbf.
Why has Mbemba turned into prime Maldini.
Mbemba playing the game of his life. Pep (Guardiola) will already drop £70m for him in January!
Our decision to sell Mbemba for £7m is looking like a silly one. He looked the best defender on the pitch tonight!
Wasn’t it Benitez that got rid of Chancel Mbemba ?
Mbemba…when you get home take out your wallet, cell phone, keys and Sterling.
I know Rafa was great for NUFC, but Mbemba is one of several clearly talented players he wasted. Looks a top player here.
Chancel Mbemba having a stormer
Mbemba man of the match
Very good match for Chancel Mbemba tonight despite the defeat
Mbemba was clearly the best player for Porto. Was always very attentive. In 4 duels with the Sterling, he won them!
I saw bits of the game myself and he looked very good, not only getting the better of Raheem Sterling but showing his quality in carrying the ball out of defence too.
Another one we let go too soon?