Manchester City are delighted to announce the signing of Eliaquim Mangala from FC Porto.
The 23-year old central defender becomes the sixth signing of the summer, and will quickly re-join his old Porto teammate Fernando at the Etihad Stadium. He will wear the no.20 shirt and has signed a five-year contract with City.
Mangala said: “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.
“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. There are plenty of goals, so it is also really nice to watch and I can’t wait to get started!
“I am really looking forward to the challenge, and I now need to settle in quickly and be ready for the season.”
His new manager, Manuel Pellegrini added: “I’m delighted to have added a player of Eliaquim’s quality in the squad ahead of the new season.
“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.
“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.”
Recognised as one of the continent’s most promising young players, the Parisian has been heralded for his tenacious tackling, positional sense and athleticism.
Despite his modest years, Mangala has taken to life in the UEFA Champions League seamlessly, appearing in the competition four times over the past five seasons between spells at Standard Liege and Porto.
Although 2012/13’s Portuguese champions didn’t make it out of UEFA Champions League Group G last year, Eliaquim’s solid performances alongside Nicolas Otamendi marked him out as one to watch.
After Christmas, he scored three goals in six appearances in the Europa League as Porto reached the quarter-finals where they were beaten by eventual winners, Sevilla.
Mangala began his professional career at Standard Liege where he won the Belgian league and cup before Porto spotted the potential in the then-20-year old and took him to the Estádio do Dragão along with Steven Defour.
Like at Liege, Eliaquim had to be patient for his opportunity as he joined the defensive queue behind Rolando, Otamendi and Maicon but his second season saw him become a regular starter, making 39 appearances in all competitions and scoring seven goals.
Since joining the two-time European champions, the youngster has won the Portuguese championship twice, in 2011/12 and 2012/13.
In total, Mangala has played on 92 occasions for the Dragons in all competitions, including 42 alongside fellow City new boy Fernando in 2013/14.
Although Eliaquim moved to Belgium as a five-year old and holds a Belgian passport, he chose the country of his birth for international representation and made his debut for France u21s in a friendly match against Tunisia on 13 November 2009.
He went on to make 23 appearances at this level and was handed his senior bow by Didier Deschamps in June 2013’s 1-0 defeat to Uruguay in Montevideo.
Deschamps included Mangala in his squad for this summer’s World Cup and, although he didn’t make it off the bench in France’s run to the quarter-finals, the experience is sure to stand him in good stead for the European Championships in his home nation coming up in 2016.
Now he’s arrived in the Barclays Premier League with City, Mangala will be hoping to add to his three international caps, as well as helping the English champions to defend their league title.
Be the first to see Eliaquim and the rest of our new signings on stage at City Live, this Thursday at Manchester Central – tickets available here.