He may have only arrived last summer but it looks as though French international goalkeeper Steve Mandanda will be on his way out of Selhurst Park when the current campaign draws to a close.
Whilst the deal was looked upon as a real coup for the club when it was first announced, the reality of life in SE25 has seemingly hit Mandanda hard in the last few months. Already sidelined with a relatively serious knee injury, homesickness is believed to have set in, leading him to actively encourage his representatives to explore the possibility of engineering a move away from the Eagles.
Although our results were passable when the big man was between the sticks, it’s worth remembering that he is still awaiting his first Premier League clean sheet in Palace colours; conceding 17 goals in just nine top flight appearances, 10 of which came in his last three games against Leicester, Liverpool and Burnley respectively.
I am not for a moment suggesting that Wayne Hennessey is the long-term answer for us but should we manage to survive the drop between now and May, the loss of Mandanda from the 25-man squad should not be looked upon as a complete disaster. In truth, it would enable Sam Allardyce and his coaching staff to dip their toes into the market, ideally finding another stopper who is more capable and mentally willing to commit to the Palace cause for the long haul.
These stories regarding Mandanda’a future are undeniably frustrating but having seen the warning signs for months, I can’t pretend to be surprised by these latest revelations. The man’s heart has never been fully in it and for that reason alone, it would make sense for us to cut our losses as soon as possible. Sometimes, these things just don’t work out as planned.