Why Chancel Mbemba is the ideal man to succeed Fabricio Coloccini at Newcastle

RSC Anderlecht Seats

Anderlecht's Chancel Mbemba is reported to be closing in on a move to Newcastle United.

Similar to Chelsea's approach for Everton youngster John Stones, as covered by Sky Sports - a man seen as the perfect successor to John Terry - Newcastle's pursuit of Congolese international Chancel Mbemba could see him one day replace a Magpies stalwart, in the form of 33-year-old Fabricio Coloccini.

According to the Mirror, the 20-year-old should be a Premier League player by early next week, after an £8 million deal was agreed between Anderlecht and the Tyneside outfit. His impending arrival could see him link-up with the Argentine veteran in central defence - an area the club struggled in last season - where the duo could form a formidable axis.

Like Chelsea's move for Stones, Steve McClaren clearly has the future under consideration throughout the pursuit of his own youthful target. A season, or two, playing alongside Coloccini before his inevitable departure/retirement would surely encourage Mbemba's progression and development. The 33-year-old would not only teach the youngster how to lead, but also what it means to be a Newcastle player.

The Anderlecht defender has established himself among the most sought-after centre-backs in Europe in the past 12 months and, as such, he is predicted to have a very bright future. Coloccini struggled at times throughout the previous campaign, and the addition of Mbemba - with all his power and energy - would allow the Argentine to focus on his strengths - dictating and leading from the back. 

While he is not the most tactically intelligent, Mbemba more than makes up for this with his physical presence and ability to emerge victorious in a one vs one duel. As he showed so often during Anderlecht's Champions League campaign - albeit brief - and throughout the club's successful domestic endeavours, he has the ability to take a forward out of the game entirely.

However, perhaps the stand-out feature of the Congo international's game is his ability going forward. His strength and subsequent ability in the air not only makes him a formidable defensive opponent, but he also poses a significant threat in the final third. His tendency to play the ball forward from the back also highlights his composure in possession. 

In Europe he made six appearances last term, during which he averaged 2.5 tackles per game, while weighing in with 3.3 interceptions and 8.2 clearances. He also scored on two occasions, averaging 0.7 shots per match, as well as completing 77.6% of his total attempted passes.  

While Mbemba is a player capable of one day succeeding Coloccini, in the meantime his presence in the Newcastle back-four is likely to reinvigorate the veteran Argentine defender. It is an interesting move from McLaren's perspective, who is clearly planning well beyond the next few seasons with this deal in mind. 

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