By Will Butcher
Newcastle fans are keen on Twitter to see Rafa Benitez pick Chancel Mbemba against Wolves on Saturday at Molineux.
The 22-year-old has failed to feature for the Toon since the end of November, making just eight Newcastle appearances throughout the 2016-17 campaign.
After impressing for DR Congo at the African Cup of Nations in a holding midfield role, Mbemba is now available for selection ahead of the Magpies’ clash against Wolves.
Mbemba has struggled for game time under Rafa Benitez with the likes of captain Jamaal Lascelles and summer signings Grant Hanley and Ciaran Clark above him in the pecking order.
Keeping just two clean sheets in 11 league and cup appearances, Benitez could be looking to shape up his defence and that could see former Anderlecht defender Mbemba start.
Newcastle fans are desperate to see their number 18 start against Paul Lambert’s Midlands outfit, with some even suggesting that he could start in midfield after his AFCON exploits.
Here is a selection of their messages on Twitter:
I'd like to see Mbemba in CDM today #nufc
— Gazpilicueta (@GazpiIicueta) February 11, 2017
— Kieran Parr (@KieranParr17) February 6, 2017
If Hayden and Colback cannot play next match, try play Mbemba there. I think he'll do good #nufc
— Ginkoh_NUFC (@Ginkohro) February 4, 2017
still like to see mbemba paired next to Clark, Hanley had some nervy moments #nufc
— bobby martins (@BobbyGoa) February 4, 2017
Really want Rafa to give Mbemba a few games in the next month or so, give Clark a rest! #NUFC
— Kieran Parr (@KieranParr17) February 4, 2017
— NUFC Network (@NUFC_Network) February 6, 2017
Since his £8.4million move to Tyneside back in the summer of 2015, Mbemba has made 43 appearances in all competitions, keeping just 11 clean sheets in that time.
Three points for Newcastle could see them go four points clear at the top of the Championship table, if title challengers Brighton lose to Burton Albion.
In other Newcastle news, Benitez has made the first move to tie these two senior stars down to new contracts.