Rafa Benitez gives Chancel Mbemba update ahead of Newcastle’s season-opener against Fulham

Chancel Mbemba.
Chancel Mbemba.
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Rafa Benitez’s hopeful Chancel Mbemba will be fit in time for the Championship kick-off.

The defender missed Newcastle United’s final pre-season friendly on Saturday.

Mbemba was ruled out of the game, which Benitez’s side won 3-2, after twisting his ankle in training.

And United manager Benitez said: “He twisted his ankle in the training session. It’s nothing serious, but he couldn’t be here.”

Grant Hanley, signed from Blackburn Rovers last month for £5.5million, started in place of Mbemba.

Hanley partnered Jamaal Lascelles, set to be named club captain for the coming season, in the heart of Benitez’s defence.