Quick links

Manchester City

Manchester City's Fernando defends fellow big-money signing Eliaquim Mangala's performances

Eliaquim Mangala

Brazilian Fernando believes we are now seeing the best of French defender Eliaquim Mangala.

It has been a tough first season at Manchester City for French defender Eliaquim Mangala. The 24-year-old has come in for a lot of criticism since making a £32 million move from FC Porto last summer, per the BBC, but speaking to the Manchester Evening News, fellow new boy Fernando has leapt to his defence.

"It's always hard when you change teams to adapt to a new style of football, but we are now seeing the real Mangala," the Brazilian said.

"And you will see his performances get better and better, and he will help the team more and more."

On Sunday afternoon, Mangala was paired alongside Argentine centre-back Martin Demichelis and the duo kept a clean sheet against West Ham United, keeping their unbeaten record as a defensive duo intact.

According to WhoScored, Mangala has made more tackles on average than Vincent Kompany this season, at 1.9 per game, compared to the captain’s 1.5.

Kompany has made more interceptions according to the stats website, but Mangala is clearly ahead when it comes to clearances. The French international averages 6.2 per game compared to Demichelis on 5.3 and Kompany on 4.3.

It shows that Fernando is right to defend his teammate and that it perhaps has not been the terrible season that some have labelled him with.

With such a huge price tag it is hard to shift the focus away from what City paid, but maybe perspective is needed and a strong end to the season will help to convince others that he is a very good young defender.

Register for MANCHESTER CITY team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch