Ahead of the match against Norwich, Chancel Mbemba was described as having the look of a Sol Campbell about him.
Former Newcastle and England centre-back Steve Howey said that Mbemba is clearly not a full-back but at centre-half he comes into his own, using his physique to ensure he ‘won’t get muscled out’.
Howey referred to the game at Old Trafford when Memphis Depay gave Chancel Mbemba the run around at right-back in the first half hour or so, though a bit like the first half for the Newcastle full-backs yesterday against Norwich, he got little initial support from his teammates.
Hopefully, Steve Howey is thinking of the Sol Campbell that played for Arsenal, Tottenham and England when he makes the comparisons with Chancel Mbemba.
As opposed to the total liability who was the Sol Campbell Newcastle gave a one year contract to in 2010. A month after joining United, Campbell turned 36 and didn’t look a day under 66.
More injured than available, Sol Campbell only made four Premier League starts for Newcastle and three substitute appearances.
A lot of fans maybe surprised that he was in the starting eleven for Alan Pardew’s first game in charge, the match when Newcastle beat Liverpool 3-1 and which apparently ensured Andy Carroll was heading to Anfield.
As for Chancel Mbemba, he has made a very good start in the circumstances but once again against Norwich, the defence as a whole looked very fragile.
Whilst he is undoubtedly powerful, Chancel Mbemba is a shade under 6ft tall and with Fabricio Coloccini terrible in the air, the need remains for a big dominant centre-back who can play long-term with the DR Congo international.
Steve Howey talking to Sky Sports:
“He is better at centre-half than he is at right-back.
“I think he had a torrid time against Manchester United when they doubled up on him.
“He is big, he is strong, he reminds me of a little bit of a Sol Campbell-type.
“He is a big, big lad, he won’t get muscled out. His distribution kind of lets him down but I think he will do all right.”