This deal picked up steam right before Deadline Day and then moved through the gears very quickly, and then stopped dead. Everton have brought in Manchester City defender Eliaquim Mangala on loan for the rest of the 2017-18 season, making the announcement well after midnight.
The 26-year-old comes in to bolster an ageing backline that features club captain Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams, along with summer signing Michael Keane and developing youngster Mason Holgate. Ramiro Funes Mori is also a couple of weeks or so away from a return following knee surgery late last season.
Mangala has featured in 15 games for City this season, all at the centreback position, playing in the Premier League, the Carabao Cup and the Champions League. He has made 79 appearances in all for City since his £42 million move from Porto to begin the 2014-15 season; the defender also played 33 times for Valencia in La Liga last season out on loan, scoring twice. The defender also has 21 France youth international caps, making his senior debut in 2013 and featuring in eight games, mostly friendlies. He was not part of the World Cup qualification in 2017 and is unlikely to play in the 2018 World Cup.
The Mangala signing, since it was broken late last night by journalist Paul Joyce, has been received by the fans with a mostly negative outlook. With more pressing needs at the left back and central midfield positions, this was not the area that needed addressing urgently during the January transfer window.
Oh well, welcome to Everton, Eliaquim!