Chancel Mbemba a standout for Newcastle so far this season

St James Park

The Congolese centre-half has looked like a real star since moving to Tyneside.

Newcastle have had issues at the heart of their defence for some time, with the Tyneside club’s ambitions of finishing in the top eight thwarted as a result of a leaky rearguard.

The likes of Mike Williamson, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and others have struggled to be the assertive figure that the St James’ Park side have craved in recent years.

As a result, Newcastle have had a reliance on Fabricio Coloccini, but with the Argentine defender getting older there is a clear need for younger legs.

Although much of the hype surrounding Newcastle’s summer business was focussed on the capture of Aleksandar Mitrovic, it is his former Anderlecht team-mate Chancel Mbemba that has looked like the real capture.

The 21-year-old centre-half has been a solid figure in a Newcastle side that has failed to convince consistently so far, with all the attributes to see him turn into a star.

His assurance, despite just moving to English football, coupled with his physical attributes and ability on the ball suggest that Newcastle have finally found a solution to their defensive problems.

With a chance to pick up their first win of the season tonight against West Ham, Mbemba will be a key member of the side this season under Steve McClaren.

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