The saga of Steve Mandanda’s potential departure from Crystal Palace looks set to rumble for at least another week or two with the Eagles growing increasingly frustrated by Marseille’s bidding tactics.
When the Frenchman first made the move from the south of France to SE25, hopes were high amongst Palace fans but after an initial burst of optimism with him between the sticks, things took a rapid turn for the worse. After just a handful of appearances and no clean sheets, he sustained a serious knee injury and hasn’t been seen in the first-team since.
Whilst no one outside of the club’s inner sanctum is truly aware of the specific reasons for Mandanda’s desperation to fly the nest, most are hopeful that the recent arrival of Frank de Boer will have a positive impact on the Frenchman’s state of mind and encourage him to stick around and make things work in the Premier League.
Although Wayne Hennessey tried admirably whenever called upon last season, most supporters remain lukewarm to the idea of keeping the Welsh number one as our first-choice stopper heading into the 2017-18 season. Whether or not that means getting in a new man or sticking with Steve Mandanda remains to be seen but if Marseille keep on employing similar tactics in trying to force through a deal, it seems highly unlikely that Palace’s stance will change.
From a personal perspective, I can’t help but feel as though Mandanda’s failure to integrate fully into Palace’s squad is a real shame for both the player and the club collectively. No doubt a highly talented goalkeeper, the English game looks on paper to be the perfect place for him to flourish. Yes, right now he seems to have his heart set on getting away but unless Marseille adopt a more realistic approach in their negotiations, he’ll have no choice but to get his head down and work for the team.
Watch this space.