What could Newcastle's renewed Lopez interest mean for Mbemba?

Ciaran Clark of Newcastle United celebrates scoring his sides second goal with Chancel Mbemba of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and West Ham...

Newcastle United are tipped to make another move for the centre-back in January.

Chancel Mbemba of Newcastle United is watched by Philip Billing during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United at John Smith's Stadium on August 20, 2017 in...

According to the Chronicle, Newcastle United are planning a January bid for Lisandro Lopez, so what could that mean for their current centre-back Chancel Mbemba?

After all, while the latter has been playing at left-back for much of this season, that is seen as a temporary solution rather than a permanent fix, and with Newcastle already flush with centre-backs, Lopez's arrival could condemn Mbemba either to a prolonged role as a back-up full-back or push him out the door all together.

Dries Mertens (L) of Napoli competes for the ball with Lisandro Lopez of Benfica during the UEFA Champions League match between SSC Napoli and Benfica at Stadio San Paolo on September 28,...

At 28, the Benfica defender is unlikely to move to St. James' Park unless he has some guarantees regarding first-team football, and with Florian Lejeune, Ciaran Clark and Jamaal Lascelles already ahead of Mbemba for a starting spot, that could be bad news for the DR Congo international.

Mbemba will want to play week in, week out, and while a prolonged run at left-back is not beyond the realms of possibility, it is far more likely that Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez solves his ongoing problem with a purchase in due course.

Newcastle player Chancel Mbemba in action during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Stoke City at St. James Park on September 16, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

It remains to be seen if Newcastle do move for Lopez, and nothing can be done until at least January, giving Mbemba the chance to prove his worth in the interim.

That said, with his future expected to be in the centre of defence it would be no surprise if he does leave Newcastle sooner rather than later.

 

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