Newcastle United have been crying out for a confident and powerful defender such as Chancel Mbemba, who is good in the air and strong in the tackle.
Yesterday the DR Congo international arrived in Newcastle for his medical and to complete the deal, first spotted and photographed leaving a Newcastle City Centre hotel before later being seen at St James Park.
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As well as what he can hopefully deliver defence wise, there is another massive bonus that should come with Mbemba.
In the past two seasons, these are the defenders to have scored first team goals:
2013/14 Paul Dummett, Mathieu Debuchy, Steven Taylor
2014/15 Fabricio Coloccini, Paul Dummett, Daryl Janmaat, Steven Taylor, Mike Williamson
None of them scored more than once in a season and so the grand total is eight over the course of two years.
In that same period, Chancel Mbemba has scored nine by himself, six in the Belgian League and three in the Champions League.
You can make the point that the Premier League is clearly a higher standard than that in Belgium, which is certainly true in open play but when it comes to set-plays and corners it doesn’t really matter that much who you are up against to a large extent.
If the ball is delivered in the right place and you are hungry enough to put everything into meeting it – then you will score at any level.
As you can see if you watch this video footage of Mbemba in action, he looks to have that hunger that is all but totally absent for Newcastle’s players, especially centre-backs, when it comes to attacking those set-plays.
Last season Newcastle kicked off the Premier League season with Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson as first choice centre-backs.
When it comes to Premier League goals, Coloccini has three in six PL seasons and Williamson has one in five PL seasons.
It is just not good enough and tells you that a total lack of competition has meant players have got off far too lightly – Williamson, Taylor and Coloccini being the same three centre-backs who were with Newcastle when promoted back in 2009/10.
Hopefully with the signings of Mitrovic and Wijnaldum we have guaranteed a boost in goals from open play, to have Mbemba (plus hopefully other defensive signings…) adding some more from (compared to normal for Newcastle) unusual places will be a massive help as the club look to rebuild.