Why Newcastle United Should Not Sign Mangala In The Summer
Newcastle United’s summer of speculations continue as they are now linked with a move for Manchester City centre-half Eliaquim Mangala. The Daily Mail reports that the newly promoted Premier League side are set to make a £12million move for the 26-year old defender as they look to build a strong team for their return to the top flight.
The Tynesiders finished as the champions of the English second tier last season and earned automatic promotion to the Premier League. Ever since promotion was confirmed, manager Rafael Benitez has started out on strengthening his squad ahead of the next campaign and have already completed the signature of Christian Atsu from Chelsea after the youngster impressed while on loan last time around.
Now Benitez is looking to strengthen other areas on the pitch after Atsu’s transfer and sees the centre-back department as something that needs to be bolstered. Hence, Newcastle have made Mangala a top target and are planning a £12million move for him. The French international arrived in a big money deal to the Etihad in the summer of 2014, after excelling during his time with Portuguese club Porto. However, following his £32million move to the Citizens, things have hardly gone according to plans for the defender.
A lot was expected of him upon his arrival, due to the hefty price tag, but the Frenchman failed to meet the expectations and put in one poor display after another over two disappointing seasons, due to which City sent him out on loan to La Liga outfit Valencia last summer.
The Magpies have good options in their central defence in the form of captain Jamaal Lascelles, his partner Ciaran Clark, and the young and promising Chancel Mbemba. Another defender from the squad, Grant Hanley is widely expected to leave after having failed to carve out a place in the playing XI since his arrival from Blackburn Rovers.
But the lack of Premier League experience in his defenders is something that is bothering Benitez who is keen on adding someone with proven abilities at the top level.
Mangala, this past season with Valencia, made 30 La Liga appearances, scoring twice in the process as Los Che finished 12th in the table. They conceded 65 goals in the league, which was the 6th worst defensive record in the division – not something that puts Mangala in a good light. His disciplinary record was also extremely poor as he collected a total of 11 yellow cards and a red card as well over the course of the season. As was seen in his 64 appearances for City before his loan move, Mangala can be seriously error prone and hardly looks convincing.
While Benitez and Newcastle are right in planning to bring in an established and proven centre-half, Mangala is far from the right answer for them and they should definitely be looking at options other than the unreliable Frenchman.