'Superb', 'wrong selling him': Some Newcastle fans stunned by £7m player's CL display last night

Nathaniel Kay March 10, 2021
'Superb', 'wrong selling him': Some Newcastle fans stunned by £7m player's CL display last night
Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Newcastle United fans suffered conflicting emotions after watching the Champions League heroics of Chancel Mbemba for Porto last night.

Mbemba spent three years with the Magpies before then-manager Rafael Benitez sold him to the Portuguese club in 2018.

After a quiet start to his Porto career, the defender is looking forward to a European quarter-final after playing a pivotal role in Porto’s away-goals win over Juventus.

Here’s how some Newcastle fans reacted on Twitter to Mbemba’s heroics:

Mbemba as a Magpie

Not many defenders can boast of shutting out Cristiano Ronaldo but the five-time Ballon d’Or winner struggled to shrug off Mbemba last night.

It was an interesting period for Mbemba following his £8 million (Guardian) move from Anderlecht to Newcastle six years ago.

As well as a soul-sucking relegation, the defender also enjoyed promotion back to the Premier League as the Magpies won the Championship in 2016/17.

However, Mbemba only made 13 appearances during that title-winning campaign under Rafa Benitez.

In total, the DR Congo international played 53 times for the Magpies, scoring once.

Mbemba’s ability to play top-flight football was often questioned, although he rarely had a run of games to disapprove the theory.

Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Benitez ended any debate by selling Mbemba to Porto for £7.14 million (BBC Sport) in July 2018.

Major change for Chancel

There has certainly been a reversal of fortunes for Mbemba and Newcastle since he left.

As Newcastle face another nightmarish relegation battle under Benitez’s unpopular successor Steve Bruce, Mbemba has become a stalwart in Sergio Conceicao’s side and bagged a Portuguese league and cup double last term.

No wonder many Newcastle fans are questioning the defender’s sale.

Bruce could do with the 26-year-old in his squad. Newcastle’s defensive record is woeful this season, with the joint third-worst goal difference in England’s top flight.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.