Steve Mandanda waved goodbye to Marseille yesterday having spent an action-packed eight years with the French club.
Crystal Palace’s pre-season tour of America has seen Julian Speroni and Alex McCarthy used primarily in between the sticks, given the fact that both Wayne Hennessey and Mandanda have been afforded an extended break following their exploits at Euro 2016 this summer, but with time ticking on, the pair are now preparing to make their way to South London.
Whilst no one can be sure of Alan Pardew’s thinking ahead of the new season, it would be a huge surprise to see Manadanda take anything other than the number one shirt when he does indeed begin life at Selhurst Park, such is the stellar reputation he has built himself within the game in recent years.
Of course, Wayne Hennessey’s performances with Wales and Julian Speroni’s cult hero status amongst the Palace faithful will ensure their continued presence within the squad, but with a keeper of Mandanda’s stature at his disposal, Pardew would be mad not to utilise his talents from the moment the new campaign gets underway.
Having been an ever-present figure in what was a turbulent season for Marseille, Palace’s new recruit was one of very few players not to be referred to as a “goat” (a common insult in the French game) by the club’s incensed fan-base following a season of embarrassing results. Their collective reaction to news of his departure has been much the same, with pangs of sadness overtaking any bitterness towards the 31-year-old from the terraces.
We may still be waiting for the Frenchman to arrive in South London, but as the video attached above demonstrates, his presence in SE25 can only be a good thing for the prospects of the team as we head towards August.