One goes out, one comes in. While Cardiff fans mourned the sale of Manga, news broke overnight that Aden Flint, the 6ft 5in (an average of his reported heights of 6ft 4in and 6ft 6in) defender was signing from Middlesbrough.
The former Bristol City favourite (as is tradition) has spent a season up North and not set the world on fire. So a £6m deal is on the cards with Flint to complete his medical today.
The VFTN team reacts to Flint signing.
Aden Flint is a big brute and a good defender to boot. At Bristol, he was good at the back and better in attack. Sure, his time at ‘Boro has been, self-described, diabolical but it seems like there were a lot of problems at the Riverside last season and he was just a victim of that.
£4m represents a costly deal but we need to replace Manga and in the Championship, we need players who know the league and know how much of a slog it can be. Aden fits that bill and if he likes a goal or two, he’s a shoe-in to link up well with Vaulks long throws. A good purchase.
I’d be lying if I said I was overjoyed with the signing of Aden Flint, but I do see some positives in it. Losing Bruno Manga is a big blow, and while I don’t think Flint is as good as Manga, it’s good to see the club reacting quickly.
He certainly seems to fit the bill of a Warnock player. Big, good in the air and strong in the tackle. He’s not particularly great on the ball – I’d always personally favour a centre half that can play a little bit – but that’s hardly a problem in a Warnock system.
Flint in for Manga does leave Cardiff short at right-back, so here’s hoping there’s plenty left in the budget for a striker and a right-back.
My lack of surprise that Manga would be leaving us was flipped on its head when I heard Aden Flint would be his replacement, a name that seems almost out of nowhere, but if Warnock wants him, then I’m happy.
That being said, Flint is a name you would give if asked to name a Neil Warnock player – big, strong, not amazing on the ball but a good attacker of set pieces, and maybe not as typical, a passionate leader, and at 30 years of age, he’ll be looking to finish the last few years of his career with a flourish – a.k.a, promotion – something he was unable to do whilst under the leadership of Lee Johnson and Tony Pulis.
Maybe what is even more of a positive is the ex-Bristol spine we now have at the CCS, Flint linking up with fellow ex Robins Tomlin and Reid, in what could be a pivotal season for all three.
The difficulty with Bruno Ecuele Manga leaving is that you effectively need two players to replace him, as he provides stable cover at right back for two rather injury prone full backs. He’s also a class act, which Aden Flint is not, but he is a good fit for Warnock.
Flint was his own worst critic last season, savaging his own performances in his first season at Middlesbrough and was keen to make ammends this year. The arrival of Jonathan Woodgate probably hastened his exit because he intends to play out from the back and that is not Flint’s strength, but that won’t be so much of an issue at Cardiff. Cost cutting was the other factor.
My concern is that Flint and Sean Morrison may be too similar to gel, but time will tell. Manga used to hide a multitude of sins, but was prone to drop a bollock too. The potential £6m fee is also a bit steep for a 30-year-old with no resale value, but if he fits, like Manga before, he will prove to be money well spent.