News broke on Thursday morning that another high-profile City star would be leaving the club. Thoughts immediately turned to Bruno Ecuele Manga – and those thoughts were right.
Wales Online broke the story that Manga, one of Cardiff’s top performers in the Premier League last season, is heading back to France. The 31-year-old, who has one year left on his contract, will join Guingamp in a £3m deal.
Reports in France said that Manga would in fact be joining Dijon, which would be confirmed on Thursday evening by the French club, who announced the signing of Manga on their Twitter feed.
The VFTN team give their verdict on a player who has spent five years as a Bluebird and made almost 150 appearances in a Cardiff shirt.
Brought in as part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s supermarket sweep, Bruno Ecuele Manga cost a packet, but proved money well spent and will be sorely missed. A real class act, it all seemed to come a bit too easy for Manga at times and concentration sometimes waned, but managing to convince him to agree a new deal in the summer of 2017 was one of Neil Warnock’s greatest achievements at the club and promotion followed.
Manga was as good as anyone last year and his departure seems to be more driven by a need to return to France than any issue relating to either Cardiff or playing in the Championship. From an ecconomic perspective, chances are that he wouldn’t have signed another deal. Is recouping a relatively meagre £3m preferable to potentially losing him on a free, but having a better chance of returning to the Premier League? Probably not.
I’m really gutted about this one, but not particularly surprised. Manga was a standout player for me last year and has been really consistent over the past five years. To be honest, I was surprised when he joined us. Manga had been a top signing on the Football Manager games for a number of years and was linked to plenty of top flight clubs.
Needless to say he has not disappointed. From his smooth Instagram stories to his assured performances on the pitch, it’s really been an honour to watch Manga in a Cardiff shirt. Guingamp have got a hell of a player for just £3mil.
Don’t be sad because it’s over, smile because it’s happened. By rights, Manga should have signed for a much better club than us when he did and frankly, the fact we’ve kept him for this long is a miracle. He’s a top class defender, as he shown last year, and there was always the sense that last season was his last.
I would have loved to have kept him for another year but £3m for a player with less than 12 months left on his contract is decent business and on a personal level, his heart was always in France as shown by regular trips back during seasonal breaks. I’ll miss him; from his inimitable style, his friendship with Joe Bennett and his impeccable beard. What a man. Love you, mate.
The fact that the guy only had basically a year left on his contact means this move doesn’t shock me, and although at times I have been a critic of him, I’ll be sad to see Manga go, and for a measly £3 million, Guingamp have done incredibly well.
The man made RB look like his natural position last season with some really strong performances, but, he did look vulnerable at times and never looked particularly confident with the ball at his feet – which I suppose can be said of a number of City players – but in the end up it will take two/three new players to replace Manga, with centre-backs Curtis Nelson and Aden Flint coming in, we ideally still need to sign a right-back.
My Bruno Manga highlight? That goal saving tackle on Wilf Zaha away to Palace last season. Heroic.