Football

Eliaquim Mangala should turn down Manchester City transfer

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In one of the most protracted sagas of the summer, Eliaquim Mangala is still expected to finalise a move to Manchester City from Porto, although Manuel Pellegrini recently stressed that the deal is not yet completed.

With that in mind, we question whether or not swapping northern Portugal for the north west of England is really the right thing for Mangala's blossoming career.

A move to City will undoubtedly benefit his pay packet, and he may pick up a winners medal or two, but does he really need to make the move this summer?

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Time to improve

Having only celebrated his 23rd birthday at the start of the year, Mangala is relatively young for a defender and his best years are still to come.

Joining City would give him the chance to learn from experienced professionals such as Vincent Kompany and Martin Demichelis, but how much can his game develop if he's forced to watch them from the sidelines?

Despite FIFA sanctions limiting the club's spending, a price tag in excess of £30million does not make you an automatic starter at the Etihad Stadium, and Mangala will have to bide his team before he can claim to be Pellegrini's preferred choice alongside captain Vincent Kompany.

Even if he does manage to force his way into the starting eleven, there's no certainty he'll cope with the demands of Premier League football.

Far more experienced players have moved to England's top flight in the past and struggled to deal with the change in culture and the differing style of football and Mangala can expect his first year at City to be a steep learning curve.

At his young age, the best way for him to improve his game and fulfill his enormous potential it to be playing regular first team football, and that's something Porto can guarantee him.

Leader

The club have had a busy summer having already made 12 new signings, but Mangala could still expect to be one of the first names on the team sheet under new boss Julen Lopetegui.

Joining him in the centre of the defence would be Dutch defender Bruno Martins Indi, who recently completed a move from Feyenoord having impressed at the World Cup.

Martins Indi is in fact a year younger than Mangala, and the chance to help another young defender improve himself is something which the French international could thrive upon.

During the last two years the former Standard Liege man proved himself to be an integral part of the Porto team, and spending one more year at the Estadio do Dragao would only enhance his leadership qualities, as well as increasing his chances of a starting spot in Didier Deschamps' France team.

Decision time

Moving to City would undoubtedly represent a forward step in his career, with the Premier League being a far stronger league than the Primeira Liga.

The switch would also give the defender a much better chance of challenging for the Champions Leauge, while league winners medals would be tougher to win but much more prestigious.

However, what good are winners medals to Mangala if he has to witness the glory from the substitutes bench? Too many players have made the step up to a bigger club a year or two too soon only to find themselves taking two steps back when it doesn't go to plan.

Mangala's age means he's got plenty of time to prove himself at the very top of his sport, but next season he should opt to remain a big fish in Porto's relatively small pond.

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Topics:
Premier League
Football
Manchester City

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