Scouting Kader Mangane: Sunderland's January Loan Signing

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterJanuary 15, 2013

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Sunderland have made their second signing of the January transfer window by bringing Kader Mangane in on loan from Al-Hilal (via The Daily Mail).

But with the player well and truly out of the spotlight plying his trade in Saudi Arabia, let's give you the run down on him as a signing.

Martin O'Neill, who is doing his business uncharacteristically early this year, was delighted to secure his signature, telling Sunderland's official website how important a defensive recruitment was.

Kader is player who will add to the overall strength of our squad and give us options. He will improve competition for places and we are delighted to welcome him to the club.

The Ulsterman is understandably happy; this is a genuine coup for the football club.

Mangane is an absolute monster, standing at 6'5" and weighing in approximately 90 kg of muscle. He towers over everyone, including fellow central defenders, and gives his side a physical edge.

He was practically kicked out of France for an absolutely horrendous challenge on Jonathan Lacourt. The video is on YouTube, but we'd recommend not watching it if your squeamish—he breaks Lacourt's tibia and fibula with a high, wild and vicious challenge.

That was in 2009, and he's a different player now. He deserves a clean slate.

Having been hounded from France, the Senegalese defender moved anywhere that would take him, and Al-Hilal facilitated his move from Rennes.

That's where the experiment with him playing in midfield—the experiment that saw him dive in on Lacourt—ended, and he's largely stuck to playing centre-back since.

In terms of what you can expect from his play, don't be hoping for a cultured ball-playing centre-half. He's a textbook defender with limited skills on the deck, but he does like to run forward and live the dream of the striker on occasion.

With his size and strength he's naturally a colossus in the air, and under Martin O'Neill the no-nonsense type of defender prospers.

With Sunderland in a mini-crisis defensively speaking, reinforcements were much-needed, and pound-for-pound Mangane is a superb signing. He'll give the Black Cats grit and determination at the back and some important depth and vigour heading into the business end of the season.