Steven Defour backs Chancel Mbemba’s move to Newcastle United

Burnley midfielder Steven Defour has backed former teammate Chancel Mbemba to succeed at FC Porto. The 23-year-old has been heavily tipped to leave Newcastle United to join Porto this summer and Defour, who previously played with him at Anderlecht, believes he could make a huge mark with the PrimeiraLiga outfit.

He said: “Mbemba is a tough defender in the individual marking, he is a fast player who has passing quality and who risks going out to play from the defence, he has a good aerial game, he has talent and qualities to impose on FC Porto. I think he just could not stay at Newcastle, because they made him play right-back, a position that is not his. It was a shame. He is strong from the mental point of view and knows what he wants. He has the ability to impose himself in a club like FC Porto.”

Mbemba joined the Magpies from Anderlecht in the summer of 2015 and he was initially a regular at the heart of the club’s defence. However, as the seasons have gone by, his importance with the first-team has reduced by the game and he was only a fringe player for the Magpies on their return to the Premier League last season.

Magpies boss Rafael Benitez is keen on strengthening his ahead of the 2018/19 campaign and the departure of Mbemba is likely to provide him with additional funds to enhance his ambitions. The Spaniard was left a frustrated figure last term whereby owner Mike Ashley was reluctant to release transfer funds but they have made some good business this summer after securing the services of goalkeeper Martin Dubravka on a permanent basis from Sparta Prague. Similar to Dubravka, Kenedy impressed on a short-term loan from Chelsea last season and talks are said to be underway to re-sign the Brazilian midfielder.