Better than Jagielka and Distin? Everton's new defensive target

Everton have been linked with a move for centre back Bruno Ecuele Manga of Lorient according to L’Equipe.

Everton’s transfer policy of going out and finding the underrated and younger gems doesn’t seem set to change now that Roberto Martinez has become the club’s new boss.

Fortunately for the Toffees, Martinez is very experienced when it comes to working on a tight budget and he seems to have found a potentially brilliant signing in the form of Bruno Ecuele Manga.

Manga is a 24-year-old right sided centre back who is around the perfect age to blend into Everton’s squad as Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka head towards the final stages of their careers.

He’s been at Lorient since 2010 and has only ever been involved in French football, which means if he has any preconceptions over moving to England, it should be a much easier transition for him to make.

He only played on 17 occasions last season for Lorient due to a bad knee injury which kept him out of action from the back end of 2012 through to the middle of February this year.

However, despite that injury, he did manage to secure some impressive stats last season.

He won 3.6 aerial challenges on average based on his performances last year, which is only 0.7 off the average of Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic.

He also picked up three man of the match awards last season, which shows that he seems to be able to raise his game well for the big matches in order to produce a superb performance.

That’s significant for Everton fans because playing in the Premier League is much more difficult than a career in Ligue One and playing for Everton, a historic English club, means he’ll have to endure some big matches and big rivalries.

He also has a higher passing success rate on average than either Distin or Jagielka, which suggests he’s a more composed player on the ball.

That’s ideal for the club because Martinez may encourage Everton to play the ball out more from the back rather than taking the aerial route.

He also plays regularly for Gabon at international level, which despite a slightly lower standard of international football, is justification of his quality to compete at club level to maintain his international career.

As things stand he’s got a market value of under the £5 million mark and just two years left to run on his contract with the French club.

He’s not a high profile player so if Everton want to go after him, and there are plenty of reasons they should, it should be a relatively easy deal for Martinez to complete and a real bargain.

What do you make of Bruno Ecuele Manga? Do you think he’s a good possible signing for Everton?

image: © isirya

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