Sunday, November 27, 2022

23 Y/O Newcastle United Star Close To Portugal Move: Should Rafa Benitez Hold On To Him?

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Aakarsh Bommakanti
Was diving around lush green grass not so long ago but my keyboard is all I have now. An avid observer of detail in sports with a passion to make myself heard. Can find me playing on a field if not in front of my screen.

Newcastle United have a crucial season ahead of them as Rafa Benitez takes them into their second consecutive season in the top flight. They finished in the top half of the points table last season and will want to make some progress in the upcoming campaign.

This will need the manager to add some quality to the first team but Rafa is also busy trying to sell players who do not belong at the club next season. One such player, inching closer to a move to Portugal is defender Chancel Mbemba.

Born and brought up in Zaire, the 23-year old started his career with Anderlecht, and spent just two years with the senior side, before joining Newcastle United in 2015. He was the first choice defender in his debut season at the club but failed to avoid relegation, dropping to the Championship for just his second season.

He slowly lost his place under the manager and made just seven Premier League starts last season. He did put in some impressive performances for his side but he was used more as a left-back, than in his natural centre-back role.

Mbemba is a strong and confident defender, who is calm and composed with the ball at his feet. He can play across the backline, can dribble out of tight spaces and is also adept at finding his teammates from long range. The versatility he has shown, at just 23 years of age, makes him a huge asset for the Magpies.

However, Portuguese giants FC Porto registered their interest in the player right after the end of the previous season. The Congo international is currently with Rafa’s squad for the pre-season but reports now suggest that Porto have retained their interest in the defender for a move this summer.

Portuguese news outfit ABola now claim that Mbemba is not a top transfer target for Porto and that the player has also chosen the Liga NOS outfit as his next club. However, the English outfit are holding out for a fee close to €9m, which Porto are not ready to shell.

Read More: Newcastle United Looking To Battle It Out With Celtic For 24 Y/O Midfielder: Is He Worth The Fuss?

The same story claims that Sérgio Conceição and his side are ready to pay up to €7m and that they have agreed on terms with the player over a four-year deal. The onus is now on Rafa to seal this deal and with the manager planning a few more additions to his squad this summer, it does look like Mbemba is on his way out of the club this summer. Do you think Newcastle United should hold on to the 23-year old?

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