The Eliaquim Mangala loan to Everton was doomed from the start. With the Toffees’ needs at left back and possibly holding midfielder positions, on Deadline Day during the just-concluded January transfer window, the only player brought in was the Manchester City left-sided central defender.
Sam Allardyce touted him as left-footed player that his squad sorely needed, despite another half a dozen ‘lefties’ scattered everywhere in the squad, and Ramiro Funes Mori close to a return.
Reliable football writer Paul Joyce reported earlier today that the France international will miss an extended amount of time after sustaining a serious knee injury in the Blues game last weekend against Crystal Palace.
He sustained the injury during the first half of the game at Goodison Park when he went up for a corner, and ended up in a nasty collision with Eagles’ goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey who unintentionally went crashing into Mangala’s planted left leg, taking him out at the knee-level.
Eliaquim Mangala facing lengthy spell out for Everton with knee injury.— paul joyce (@_pauljoyce) February 17, 2018
It was just his second appearance in the royal blue, having played a full ninety minutes in the ritual Emirates embarrassment where he was responsible for some egregious mistakes, and promptly repeated a couple of them against Palace in the few minutes he played.
If the objective was to see if Mangala could become the left half of the centreback pairing of the future, then the answer was no on two counts. One was obvious from the beginning with City not offering an option to buy when the deal was sealed. However, if somehow he had fit in and magically overcome his serious decision-making flaws from earlier in his career, then the Blues likely would have made Pep Guardiola an offer for the defender.
Secondly though, Mangala showed in the Arsenal game that he was additionally incapable of playing the left-sided centrehalf in a back three as well. In fact, with Funes Mori getting back to action with the Under-23s around the same time frame, it was downright puzzling why he was brought in at all.
With less than a dozen games to go before the end of the season, here we are with still no idea who our centreback pairing of the future is. Two players that require an immense amount of trust, co-ordination and skill to form the bedrock of a successful squad, and we likely have neither on the team right now. Welp.
Either way, we wish Mangala well on his recovery, thanks for stopping by and trying.