Young French international Eliaquim Mangala has all the attributes of a world class defender, says Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini after the 23-year-old was signed from Porto.
Mangala is City’s sixth buy of the off season as they seek to bolster their squad ahead of their second Premier League title defence in three seasons.
Chilean Pellegrini believes when Mangala grows with experience, he will be a brilliant addition to England’s current top dogs.
“He is already a fine player but in my opinion, he has all of the mental, physical, technical and tactical attributes to become one of Europe’s very best defenders,” Pellegrini told the City website.
“Eliaquim is a player I believe will make an immediate impact in the Premier League, thanks to his physicality, his reading of the game and quality on the ball.
“I think he will prove to be a great signing for us.”
Mangala agreed that he would welcome playing in the frantic nature of the English top flight.
“I’m very happy to come to England because for me, the Premier League is the best league in the world. It is a very intense and very aggressive competition,” said the Paris-born defender, who has played three times for his country but did not feature at this summer’s World Cup.
“City is a top club in Europe. For me, it was an important step to leave Porto and join Manchester City in order to continue my progress.
“I want to win titles and I believe I can do this. I am ambitious and this is why I am here.”
As for any foreign import in Manchester, Mangala needs some friends to play with and the presence of former Porto teammate Fernando plus several compatriots is a nice touch.
“The fact that Fernando is here is better because I played with him at Porto but there is also other players that I know like Sagna, Clichy and Nasri.”
Mangala has a wealth of experience in the competition City will target this season – the Champions League – having played four times over the past five seasons between spells at Standard Liege and Porto.
Then in the Europa League knockout stages last season he racked up three goals in six appearances in the Europa League to help Porto reach the last eight before defeat at the hands of eventual champions Sevilla.
Mangala kicked off his career at Liege, winning the Belgian league and cup before Porto came knocking for his signature, where he claimed two Portuguese league titles.
He went on to make 23 France under-21 appearances before Didier Deschamps handed Mangala his first senior cap in June 2013 against Uruguay.
Main image courtesy of BeIN Sports via YouTube, with thanks.