One of the most enjoyable elements of Steve Mandanda joining Crystal Palace from Marseille on Friday, has been the baffled and often angry response from fans of other clubs.
It would be wrong to suggest that I always had faith in Alan Pardew and Steve Parish luring a keeper of Mandanda’s stature to SE25, but now that the move has been made official, the feelings of disbelief from neutrals across the country has simply made the Frenchman’s signing all the sweeter.
As you can see above, there was a heartfelt belief that Everton, with Ronald Koeman newly installed as their manager and a far greater transfer kitty than ever before at their disposal, would be able to prise Mandanda away from Palace’s grasp with a click of their fingers but evidently, the advances they did make towards the 31-year-old fell on deaf ears, leaving us free to get all the paperwork completed in time for the weekend.
We will perhaps never know the full extent of the role Yohan Cabaye played in convincing Mandanda that a move to Crystal Palace was the right decision in the long-term, but it’s become clear during Euro 2016 that the pair have spent a fair amount of time together, prompting Yohan to upload a selfie with the aforementioned stopper shortly after the deal was agreed.
One thing we can be sure of, is that Palace have signed a goalkeeper who has been highly thought of across Europe for years, prompting anger and consternation amongst our Premier League rivals in the process. It’s not often that we’ve stolen a march on our competitors in the transfer market, but this summer is shaping up to be a different kettle of fish entirely.