By Russell Edge
Newcastle United defender Chancel Mbemba is set to remain out of the first team reckoning as manager Rafael Benitez doubts his ability in the back line, according to a report.
The Chronicle claim on their website that the Democratic Republic of Congo international, who has been axed from the senior side in recent matches, is firmly seen as a back up option at both centre back and left back by Benitez .
They state that the Spanish manager knows the 23-year-old is an adequate defender, having made five appearances in the opening six matches this season, but questions his aptitude to carry out instructions as well as his communicative ability alongside his fellow Magpies.
Four of his five outings have come on the left side of defence after Newcastle saw first choice option Paul Dummett ruled out through injury after the opening day defeat to Tottenham, but although the Welsh international is yet to return, Benitez has chosen to utilise other options.
Spanish duo Jesus Gamez and Javier Manquillo have both seen action in the role, and with Jamaal Lascelles, Florian Lejeune and Ciaran Clark all battling it out for a position in Mbemba’s natural centre back position, he has seen himself drop out of the first team squad entirely for the last four matches.
In other Newcastle United news, Benitez has tried to sell this star twice and will do so again in the January transfer window.