A former Everton defender has just been released and the Toffees should consider bringing him back.
The Telegraph has reported that former Everton loanee Eliaquim Mangala might prefer to stay in the Premier League after his contract was terminated by Manchester City on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old, who cost an eye-watering £42 million five years ago [The Telegraph], has been deemed surplus to requirements at Eastlands by Pep Guardiola – and should the Toffees consider bringing him back on a permanent basis?
Yes, their fans would love Kurt Zouma back on Merseyside after his loan last season, but even the Chelsea-owned defender won’t be enough for Everton by way of centre-back options.
At least one more body is essential and here’s a few reasons why Mangala should be considered at the very least – despite his previous failed loan at Goodison Park.
They need him
In a nutshell, Everton need centre-backs – and badly.
They released Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams last month and, as things stand, manager Marco Silva is one injury away from having to field either Mason Holgate or Matthew Pennington this season.
It’s a worrying situation for the Portuguese manager and one that illustrates the need for at least two new centre-backs to rival Michael Keane and Yerry Mina, whose first season in England wasn’t a huge success.
With that in mind, it’s probably fair to say that Mangala would strengthen the Blues’ squad.
This might be a sobering reflection on the state of the existing options, rather than a reflection on the Frenchman’s quality but, worst case scenario, he would be Silva’s third-choice centre-back if he joined and that fact alone indicates that Silva and Director of Football Marcel Brands are not really in a position to turn their nose up at Mangala – especially when he’s available for free.
Everton haven’t been splashing the cash this summer, in comparison to last year.
So far, Silva and Brands have spent £30 million on three players – Andre Gomes, Fabian Delph and Jonas Lossl, who was free.
There is an undeniable tightening of the purse strings and therefore free agents will look a lot more attractive to Everton now than they would have 12 months ago.
Value is the priority this summer and there is value to be found in Mangala, who’s the right side of 30, an experienced defender and one in the prime of his professional career.
Brands won’t be rushing to pay him a £100,000-a-week salary. Then again, Mangala will know that a wage cut is inevitable if he really wants to stay in England, because nobody will match what City were paying him.
There’s no denying that Mangala wasn’t a success at Everton during his loan but, by the same token, he certainly can’t be considered a flop.
His Toffees career lasted only 135 minutes, before a knee injury, on his second Premier League appearance, ruled him out for the rest of the season.
The former Porto star did endure a calamitous debut in a 5-1 defeat at Arsenal and the perception that many Everton fans have of him may stem from that day at the Emirates, a day when fan favourite Keane was hauled off at the break after the Gunners scored four first-half goals.
He is no doubt remembered as a horrific signing by Sam Allardyce. Question is, does he deserve the reputation? Was his failure at Goodison down to rotten ability or simply rotten luck?
Mangala is a Man City flop, not an Everton one and Silva could do a hell of a lot worse than signing him up on a Bosman this summer.