Europe

Manchester City: Sign Defender Eliaquim Mangala, Stevan Jovetic Ready to Start

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Eliaquim MangalaManchester City confirms the signing of 23 year old center back Eliaquim Mangala, from FC Porto the sixth signing of the summer transfer window for the Sky Blues. The other signings include Willy Caballero (Malaga), Frank Lampard (released by Chelsea), Bacary Sagna (released by Arsenal) and Bruno Zuculini (Racing Club).

Mangala’s arrival is right on time after City’s recent 3-0 preseason loss to Arsenal. The back line of Manchester City, which was analogized to a castle “built on a foundation of sand,” currently consists of Gael Clichy, Aleksandar Kolarov, Dedryck Boyata and Matija Nastasic.

“One was out of position,” reported David Mooney “one was an inexperienced youngster and one spent most of last season injured – all in front of a goalkeeper who’s new to the fold, too.”

Mangala recognizes the intensity and competitiveness of the Barclay’s Premier League, stating his readiness to get started in a press conference. He’s been recognized as one of the best young center-backs in the game right now.

Mangala went to Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup but was not played at all during France’s run to the quarter-finals.He’s received nothing but praise from City manager Manuel Pellegrini.

“He has all of the mental, physical, technical and tactical attributes to become one of Europe’s best defenders,” said Pellegrini. “I believe [he] will make an immediate impact in the Premier League, thanks to his physicality, his reading of the game and quality on the ball.”

On the other side of the pitch, forward Stevan Jovetic has made a solid case for starting, scoring five goals in the previous three games and hitting the crossbar in the 3-0 defeat to Arsenal.

Last year, Jovetic’s debut year with City, he suffered hamstring, calf and groin problems and never returned to a high enough form, or conditioning to displace Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko or Alvaro Negredo.

“I was just injured a lot of the time so I was always behind with the conditioning,” said Jovetic to a national newspaper. “That was the No. 1 problem but, in the final three or four months, it was fine and I was playing. This year, it is going to be better.”

Jovetic’s chances of making the starting XI are high as Negredo is injured and Aguero returned to camp late after helping Argentina reach the World Cup finals.

City plays their season opener against Newcastle Sunday, August 17th at 11:00 AM (EDT).

About Dominic Jones

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