Javier Manquillo Gaitán.
Date & Place Of Birth
'Javi', as he is known, was born on the 5th of May 1994 in Madrid, Spain.
Manquillo might be a name that some Sunderland supporters are familiar with, with the player already spending a stint in England back in 2014 on loan at Liverpool.
Javi is a Madridian and spent time playing in the academy at Real Madrid before moving across the city to Atletico when he was thirteen, a decision that was taken when Real decided to release his brother, Victor.
It proved to be a wise move for Javier as, by the age of seventeen, he made his debut for the Atletico senior side in a Copa Del Rey game against Albacete. This led to him gaining valuable experience playing for Atleti's B team in a professional league, and by December of 2012 he made his La Liga debut against Deportivo La Coruna.
Despite showing promise at an early age, Atletico have preferred for Manquillo to head out on loan to earn his experience in foreign leagues, with his first spell abroad coming when Brendan Rogers took the player to Anfield in 2014 on a two-year deal. Because of his age, Javi struggled to get in the Liverpool side ahead of more experienced players such as Glenn Johnson and as a result the deal was terminated just one year in, with Manquillo mainly featuring as a wing back for Liverpool in cup competitions.
It was important that he had a successful spell away from Madrid last season after the failure that was his loan at Anfield and, thankfully, he did. Manquillo signed for Marseille of Ligue 1 on a season-long loan last summer and he was instantly their first choice right back, appearing over forty times last season in all competitions. Though Marseille had a poor season last year, Manquillo did his best to impress but struggled when asked to play on the left hand side, a position he is fairly unfamiliar with.
Javier is also an accomplished Spain youth international, featuring for his national side right through from under 16s to under 21s.
Now, aged just twenty-two, Manquillo is better prepared for life in the Premier League than he was when at Anfield.
Physically, What Is He Like?
Javi is, physically, a typical modern right back - just under six foot tall, quick over short distances, not exactly slight but not well-built either and fairly strong - everything you'd expect from a right back coming through the academy setup at a top European side.
What Has Been Said?
The news of Sunderland's interest in Manquillo was originally broken by Sky Sports over the weekend. Sunderland appear to have agreed on a loan deal for the player with an option to buy, and he's expected to arrive in England today to meet with the club. All going well, he could be ours very soon - hopefully in time for the game against Southampton at the weekend.
How Did He Fare Last Season?
Fairly well, though his time in France was hampered from being played out position.
Speaking to Bleacher Report in March, friend of the site and French Football journalist Andrew Gibney had this to say about Manquillo's spell at Marseille.
It's been a difficult season for Manquillo, mirrored by the awful season Marseille are having. He's had to play more on the left of late and that has taken away his ability to really join the attack. His crossing has looked poor from the left, but it's to be expected. His best period was probably in January, he played well in the win over Caen and the away draw against Lyon, but it's hard to praise anyone too much in that OM team.
Where Would He Fit Into David Moyes' Squad?
All things considered, Manquillo will walk straight into our team ahead of Donald Love, who is clearly not ready to play just yet in the Premier League.
At the back of Moyes' mind will of course be the fact that Manquillo has experience of playing at left back, so in the event that Patrick Van Aanholt becomes unavailable we would have a player who can fill in at that position if needed.
Manquillo has a fairly unblemished record and hasn't missed a game through injury since 2014, when a back issue kept him out of action for a number of months. He was Mr Dependable in terms of fitness last year at Marseille, featuring on over forty occasions.
Here's a nice little highlight reel from his time at Marseille last season. Ignore the crap music - not my fault.
To be honest I'd find it hard to complain about us signing anyone right now due to the state of our playing squad.
Remaining level-headed though, this would make sense. We really need a right back - and a decent one at that - and Manquillo comes with a good pedigree and perhaps a chip on his shoulder having failed to break through at Liverpool when he was a much younger player.
He's only twenty-two and with an option to buy clause, it seems fairly sensible business.
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