In Focus: Newcastle need attackers more than they need Eliaquim Mangala

According to reports in the Daily Mail, Newcastle United are keen to sign Manchester City defender Eliaquim Mangala on loan until the end of the season with the Citizens set to bring Athletic Bilbao centre-back Aymeric Laporte to the club.

What’s the word, then?

The Daily Mail says that Mangala has been a long-term target for Magpies manager Benitez, who wanted to bring the Frenchman to St James’ Park during the summer, but City have told their Premier League rivals that they would need to pay the majority of the 26-year-old’s £80,000-a-week wages to take him now.

The Daily Mail says that while the Tyneside outfit have already signed Kenedy on loan from Chelsea, they have room for another after failing with a move to bring Daniel Sturridge to the north east in a similar deal.

How has Mangala done this season?

He has certainly found first-team minutes hard to come by with John Stones, Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi all looking to be ahead of him in the pecking order.

The imminent arrival of Laporte will push him down to fourth-choice, and it would be difficult to see him in increasing on the 15 appearances he has made in all competitions for City this term in the remaining months of the campaign.

The 26-year-old hasn’t played in the Premier League since New Year’s Day, while he has only been a regular for his team in the EFL Cup – although he was only on the substitutes’ bench for the second leg semi-final win against Bristol City last week.

According to WhoScored.com, his main strengths are his tackling, concentration and his ability to block the ball, and he has won seven of the nine tackles he has made in 11 outings in the English top flight and the Champions League, while he has made 28 clearances and has an average passing accuracy of 92.4%.

Would he be a good signing for Newcastle?

He certainly would be, yes.

Mangala has plenty of experience of playing at the highest level both for club and country, and while he often appears to be a little clumsy on the ball, he has shown that he is great at keeping possession.

Obviously he would have a little more to do defensively at St James’ Park than with City, so it would be interesting to see how he copes.

Do they really need him though? With Florian Lejeune, Ciaran Clark, Chancel Mbemba and Jamaal Lascelles available at centre-back already, you can’t help but feel that the Magpies should be looking to bring another attacking player to the club on loan from a Premier League side – if possible, of course.

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