Manchester City has reportedly signed defender Eliaquim Mangala from Porto for a fee understood to be about £32m. The French player is said to have signed a five-year deal for the Premier League Champions which opens up an opportunity for Arsenal to snap up City 21-year-old Serbian defender Matija Nastasic. The official announcement of this deal was reportedly delayed due to negotiations over third-party ownership of the 23-year-old defender, who manager Manuel Pellegrini expects to hit the ground running. City obviously wants a dependable partner for Captain Vincent Kompany at the Centre Back position, in the heart of their defence. The player, who revealed that the arrival of his Porto teammate from Porto, Fernando has helped his own switch, expressed his excitement and desire to win trophies immediately.
This development is of a great significance to Arsenal, if reports that Wenger wants a move for Serbian Matija Nastasic, is anything to go by. Arsenal seems to have been handed a boost in the quest to bolster the team’s backline, in the wake of the departures of Thomas Vermaelen and Johan Djourou, who had been on loan before making the switch to Hamburg permanent. The North London sold their former captain, Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona in a deal reported to be around £15m and an audacious bid for the Serbian by the Gunners is thought to be imminent. Arsene Wenger is expected to replace Captain Thomas Vermaelen and a number of defenders have been linked lately, from Mats Hummels, Raphael Varane, and Daniel Agger to Matija Nastasic.
The former Arsenal Captain, Thomas Vermaelen, found it hard over the last 2 seasons to break into the very compact defensive pairing of French man, Laurent Koscielny and World Cup winner Per Mertersacker, and a move away to Barcelona was thought of as the right step in the right direction, by the teeming Arsenal fans. The Gunners added Calum Chambers to the squad in a £16m swoop from Southampton and this made it even worse for the Belgian who just signed for Barcelona. As a replacement, the Gunner’s boss is thought to be eyeing up this Manchester City forgotten man, who also like Vermaelen has been on the sidelines trying to get into the Manchester City starting line-up, unable to break the Vincent Kompany and Martin Demichellis partnership. With this Eliaquim Mangala transfer from FC Porto, another solid defender, who is thought to have been brought in to partner Kompany in place of mistake-prone Demichelis, has just been confirmed into their squad. Therefore, a move away for the 21-year-old too, is just sensible. Matija Nastasic however is a promising young defender that could grow to achieve his full potential if given the ample opportunity.
Arsene Wenger has sounded it that his team is a bit short at the back with only 6 senior team defenders available after Carl Jenkinson left on a loan deal to West Ham, Johan Djourou’s Bundesliga switch and the transfer of Captain Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona. The first choice of Per Mertersacker and Laurent Koscielny, new right back Mathieu Debuchy and preferred left back, Kieran Gibbs are only backed up by new boy Calum Chambers and Nacho Monreal. No serious team would execute a season long league, FA Cup, League Cup and the UEFA Champions’ League with just 6 defenders, hence the need of a defence back-up. The expectation of supporters and pundits would be to have at least 8 players defensively to make a good claim on these titles next season.
Arsene Wenger has reportedly been tracking Nastasic since he was 16-years-old, and so the time to make a serious move for him is now. Nastasic, with his age, would straight away be a Thomas Vermaelen replacement that could wait to play bit-part roles and provide good competition to any of Koscielny and Mertersacker, without any doubt.