Manchester City have confirmed the £32million signing of of Porto centre-back Eliaquim Mangala, three weeks after after a leaked video from Manchester City’s official website appeared to show the Frenchman recording a message for his new club’s fans. Now the 23-year-old has officially become a City player, Mark Jones provides everything you need to know about the new arrival.
1 Despite being a French international, centre-back Mangala has never actually played for a French club team. After he was born in a Parisian suburb, his family moved to Belgium when he was five years old, and Mangala grew up in the French-speaking city of Namur in the south of the country.
2 After impressing at youth level as a striker, Mangala moved from Namur to Belgian giants Standard Liege on a youth contract in 2007, but upon arriving at the 10-times Belgian champions he was quickly converted from a forward to a left-back.
3 Aged 17, he was promoted to Standard’s Under-19 team in early 2008, where he again switched positions and began life as a centre-back. Impressive displays in the centre led to his first professional contract in October 2008.
4 Just two weeks after signing that contract, Mangala made his first-team debut for Standard as a substitute in a 3-1 win over Germinal Beerschot. On his first league start two months later, and when still a teenager, he made an instant impact when he set up a goal for former Liverpool flop Milan Jovanovic in just the third minute of a match against Dender.
9 Reasons Why Arturo Vidal Is Perfect For The Premier League
14 Reasons Liverpool Fans Will Love Dejan Lovren
5 Mangala ended up making 11 appearances as Standard were crowned champions, and he became a fixture in the side at the start of the 2009/10 season, scoring a goal in a Champions League match at home to Arsenal in September 2009, as the Belgian side went 2-0 up only to lose 3-2.
6 Now regarded as one of the best up-and-coming defenders in the game, Mangala became the rock upon which Standard’s success was being built, and he scored the opening goal as the Reds won the Belgian Cup with a 2-0 victory over Westerlo in Brussels in May 2011. Three months later, Standard accepted Porto’s €7.5m offer for his services.
7 After being a bit-part player in his first campaign in Portugal, Mangala broke through in his second and appeared 23 times as Porto won the league in 2012/13. This elevation attracted the interest of France boss Didier Deschamps, and after 23 caps for the Under-21s, Mangala made his senior international debut in a friendly defeat to Uruguay in June 2013, with Luis Suarez scoring the only goal.
8 Mangala became Porto’s key man at the back in the 2013/14 season, proving an adequate goal threat as his side finished third in the league and reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League. His displays earned him a call-up to the France squad for the World Cup, but he failed to play a single minute at the tournament as he stayed behind Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho, Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane and Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny in the centre-back pecking order.
Bet now on the 2014/15 Premier League