Recent reports from The Chronicle have claimed Newcastle United hope to sign a left-back during the final days of the summer transfer window, with first-choice No.3 Paul Dummett injured until November.
That saw Chancel Mbemba line up on the left against West Ham on Saturday and although it’s by no means the centre-back’s natural position, his performance defensively may just have Rafa Benitez thinking twice about whether he actually needs a new recruit.
On the ball, the 23-year-old wasn’t hugely convincing, creating one chance and recording two successful dribbles but completing less than 50% of his passes.
Defensively, however, the Congo international was nothing short of exceptional, notching up the most tackles, interceptions and clearances of any Newcastle player whilst ranking second for aerial duels won.
Of course, in an ideal world, Newcastle would sign a conventional left-back before the transfer window slams shut on Thursday evening.
But considering how limited funds appear to be at St. James’ Park and Benitez’s need to strengthen other areas too, Mbemba represents a potential solution that just might tide the Toon over until January.