It looks like Roberto Martinez is wasting no time in reshaping the Everton squad to suit his particular style. With the likelihood of ex-boss David Moyes revisiting Goodison Park to snaffle a star or two for his new charges at Old Trafford, the Toffees can’t afford to be left short when the new season gets under way, and it appears Martinez is already putting his plans in to action.
Gabon international Bruno Ecuele Manga appears to be high on Martinez’s priority list. The Lorient defender is is a powerful 24 year old, and was purchased by the French club to replace Laurent Koscielney when the French international centre back shipped out to the emirates three years ago. The intervening period has seen the player mature well, and he has turned out 63 times in Ligue 1. Manga also has over three dozen caps for Gabon and has netted three times for the national team.
Centre back has been a strong department for Everton over recent years with Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin in regular attendance at the heart of the defence, with Dutch international Johnny Heitinga also able to fill the role. It seems likely however that if Martinez pursuit of Manga is sincere – and it was trailed over the weekend by a couple of tabloids - and also coupled to the rumours of an approach for Wigan defender Antolin Alcaraz, changes may be afoot.
Although turning in regular sound performances last term, and still retaining much of his pace, Distin is now 35, and with Martinez’s penchant for playing three centres backs, the pursuit of Manga and Alcaraz seems a logical approach if the Spanish manager wishes to bring the same formation to Everton.