In 2014, City broke the bank and made Mangala the most expensive center-back in the world up to that point, paying just over 45 million euros to Porto. But the French center-back didn’t work out in Manchester and then he was loaned out first to Valencia, then to Everton, and in 2019 he came back to Valencia for a definitive title. It was Guardiola who inclined Mangala to leave City and He explained it face to face in a conversation that inspired him.
This has been reported by Mangala himself. He had a sincere conversation, like soccer people, with the coach face to face. Guardiola clearly explained the situation to him and he had to accept it. “Disappointment? Why? Because when it arrived they told me to leave, to look for another solution? There was an offer from Inter Milan, but financially it was not enough. At the end of the transfer window, he was still at City. At that time, the coach came up to me and spoke to me very sincerely. He told me: ‘No solution has come, and you are still here. You have a very specific profile, which in terms of my style of play, is not what I’m looking for’ He spoke to me very honestly”, explains Mangala in an interview with Get French Football News.
Guardiola did not stop there and gave him details so that it would not be an abrupt farewell. “But you are here and we have four central defenders. We’re going to work together, and you’d be ready to play every game and we have a lot of games, then you’ll have playing time because there are features that you have that I need that others don’t have. You are a very good player, but for the profile I am looking for, for my style of play, you are not what I am looking for. That is all. I do not have any problem with you’. I can’t be disappointed because the coach knows very well what he wants. It was not about my qualities, it was about my profile, ”he stressed. “From that moment, I knew it was the fourth pick. I didn’t play a single game in August. At the end of January I went to Everton. He had played 15 games. That’s a lot of important games to be a fourth option,” he notes. After that, in 2019, Mangala left City for good.
Mangala says that conversation with Guardiola inspired him. “After playing for him, I wanted to become a coach even more. It’s not necessarily his style of play, because that can change, but his approach. Why do we play like this? Why do this particular move and how are we going to do it? How will each player position themselves in relation to the other? It’s about the approach you give to things. We talk about Pep in terms of what happens on the pitch, but there is also the mental aspect. Throughout the week there are his speeches, the way he approaches you to keep his feet on the ground. It’s all, really. The way I received it really opened my eyes”, confesses the now St. Etienne player.