Eliaquim Mangala chained, in the greatest secrecy and in freezing cold, the laps at the Robert-Herbin sports center, Wednesday evening, from 7 p.m. He was accompanied by Julien Sablé, assistant to Pascal Dupraz. The head coach of AS Saint-Étienne was also present, along the Aimé-Jacquet pitch, relieved to see the former central defender of the France team (8 caps) with his eyes, dressed in the colors of the Greens .
Expected in the Coupe de France at the end of the month
Initially, ASSE hoped to see him sign his contract Tuesday evening midnight. This would have made it possible to send him to the LFP’s legal committee in time, so that Mangala would be qualified to play the derby against Lyon on Friday. This will not be the case. The future fifth recruit of the Greens of this winter transfer window (after Gnagnon therefore, Bakary Sako, Sada Thioub and Paul Bernardoni) will therefore not be able to make his debut at Groupama Stadium in Décines.
This setback does not ultimately upset its new leaders. Seriously injured in a knee three years ago, Mangala has played only twenty matches since. And none in its entirety for a year. Given that he will also not be qualified for the late match of the 20th day to be played in Angers on Wednesday, it seemed best to give him ten days of preparation. At best, Mangala will start in the Saint-Etienne jersey on Sunday January 30 during the round of 16 of the Coupe de France in Bergerac (N2).
Saint-Étienne will therefore have to compose without him for the derby, but with Bakary Sako. Deprived of the reception of Lens on Saturday (1-2), due to his positivity for Covid-19, the new left midfielder of the Greens will be able to play again on Friday. Pascal Dupraz will take advantage of his press conference scheduled for 2:30 p.m. to say which other players he can count on again. Or not.
The probable team: Bernardoni – Mason, Nadé, Kolodziejczak (cap.), G. Silva – M. Camara, Youssouf – Thioub, Boudebouz, Nordin – Krasso.