Returning Massadio Haidara should not walk straight back into Newcastle team

Rafael Benitez, the Newcastle United manager looks on during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United at John Smith's Stadium on August 20, 2017 in...

Massadio Haidara has struggled to make an impact at Newcastle and his injury has given other players chances, which they have taken.

Massadio Haidara of Newcastle United warms up prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Norwich City at St James' Park on October 18, 2015 in Newcastle upon...

Massadio Haidara looks to be back in contention for a role in the Newcastle United first team, having last featured on the final day of last season.

The Magpies have been in a bizarre situation in the opening weeks of this campaign, with their injured duo - Haidara and Paul Dummett - the club's two senior left-backs.

But Haidara has encouraged manager Rafa Benitez with an Instagram post showing a "BACK" emoji alongside a clenched fist.

 

 

A post shared by Massadio Haïdara (@massadiohaidara) on

However, while the Frenchman is a natural on the left-hand side of defence, he is still not necessarily Newcastle's best option in that position.

Since arriving at St James' Park in January 2013, Haidara has time and time again failed to deliver for the first team, with little intelligence in his play and blatant flaws at either end of the pitch.

By contrast, Chancel Mbemba, who has filled in there at times this term, has looked brilliant, showing his fine defensive qualities while also pushing on and creating chances.

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.

Mbemba was not in the matchday squad for Newcastle's draw with Liverpool last time out, but he captained DR Congo in the international break and should be fighting fit.

The reasons for favouring Mbemba over Haidara are two-fold: the former has earned an extended run in the team, the latter has done little to suggest he deserves a chance.

Haidara, unlike Dummett, should not be able to walk back into the team.

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