Eliaquim Mangala’s transfer to Manchester City has been quite similar to a 19th century Russian novel so far, with plenty of characters and a never ending plot to go along with. According to recent reports from both the English and the Portuguese media, FC Porto and Manchester City have agreed terms a long time ago, although, there were some third parties involved and the deal seemed to have come to a stall because of some disagreement surrounding the terms of payment.
The 23-year old powerful centre back arrived at FC Porto back in 2011 from Standard Liége and, after some initial difficulties in claiming his space at the Portuguese’s side defence, he managed to make a stand and quickly transformed himself into the most valuable member of the team’s defence line, especially after Nicolás Otamendi left the club back in January.
Despite his young age, Mangala has improved a lot since he arrived at the former Portuguese champions. In his first season with FC Porto, Mangala was no more than a backup defender for Otamendi, Rolando and even Maicon, but the young French defender never gave up and it was just a matter of time for him to replace Rolando at the centre of the Dragons’ defence line.
Mangala’s superior athleticism and impressive physique are probably his most valuable assets, although his heading and marking skills are also fairly remarkable. Despite being a centre back, Mangala scored some important goals for FC Porto, especially from powerful headers after corner kicks.
Back in 2011, the historical Portuguese side paid Standard Liége somewhat around £6 million for a percentage of the player’s overall value and they are now, according to the media, selling him for about £30 million to Manchester City. Although FC Porto will not get their hands on the entire transfer fee, it is still another great deal from the Portuguese team, which had already sold the Brazilian defensive midfielder Fernando Reges to the Citizens this Summer for something like £12 million after paying a fairly low amount of money for him back in 2007.
After all the misunderstandings and contradictions throughout this transfer process, the Citizens’ boss, the Chilean Manuel Pellegrini, will certainly be happy to know that he might almost certainly be able to count on Mangala earlier next week, just in time for the EPL start, after this weekend’s important match against Arsenal for the 2014 Community Shield edition.