The Newcastle defense this season has probably not been good enough, and it culminated yesterday in the side conceding 3 goals in the last 28 minutes of the season.
Eliaquim Mangala – strong French center-back
So it’s good to hear this morning that Newcastle may be after a top young center-back.
The Daily Mail is reporting that Newcastle are interested in 20 year-old 6’2″ Eliaquim Mangala of Belgium club Standard Leige.
Mangala is French of Congolese descent and he has already played 10 times for the France U21 side, and holds both French and Belgium passports.
He is a highly rated young player on the continent.
In November of 2009, at just 18 years old Mangala was selected for the France Under-21 team, for a friendly match against Tunisia, and he made his debut in that game.
Mangala joined Standard Leige in 2007 and has so far played 81 times for the Belgium side with 3 goals.
Mangala was born in the northwestern Parisian suburb of Colombes, but moved to Belgium at the age of five and lived in the French-speaking city of Namur.
As a youngster, Mangala played for French minor clubs AC Lustin, CS Wépionnais, and Namur before joining Standard Leige.
In October of 2008, he signed his first professional contract agreeing a five-year deal with the club, and initially played at left before then moving to center-back.
That reminds us a little of Sebastien Bassong, whom Newcastle bought for £500K from Metz in the summer of 2008 before selling him 10 months later for £8M to Spurs, but that was after Newcastle had been relegated two years ago.
Mangala has been in excellent form for Standard Leige this season, and the youngster has already attracted the interest of Italian powerhouse AC Milan.
It’s good that Newcastle will be bringing in some good young players this summer, and from what we can tell, Eliaquim looks a very good player in the making.
What do you think?