Yesterday morning saw new Crystal Palace boss Frank de Boer confirm that Jason Puncheon would be keeping the role of captain for the 2017-18 Premier League season; a decision which casts significant doubt over the future of Scott Dann.
18 months ago, the mere thought of Scott Dann not playing an integral role in any Palace manager’s plans was simply unimaginable. The towering centre-back was performing superbly from week to week and looking every inch a leader amongst the Eagles’ back four. Unfortunately for him, persistent injury problems stopped him from playing as regularly as he would have liked last term, with Sam Allardyce turning to the likes of Tomkins, Mamadou Sakho and Martin Kelly in the centre of defence instead.
Now, with a new boss in the dugout in the shape of Frank de Boer, some were hoping that Dann would gain a new lease of life but with interest in Jairo Riedewald, Bruno-Martins Indi and Calum Chambers, the future doesn’t look particularly bright for the former Blackburn man.
Although some view the role as symbolic rather than pivotal, the decision by both Sam Allardyce and now de Boer to give Jason Puncheon the captain’s armband in favour of Dann will come as a blow to the native Scouser.
Having acquired it in quite controversial circumstances during the power-struggle between Alan Pardew and Mile Jedinak, Dann has never really flourished in the role, whereas the extra responsibility Puncheon felt with it on his arm saw his game go up a notch or two last season, with plenty behind the scenes likely to have filled Frank in on the subject in the last few weeks.
Dann is currently on tour with the team out in Hong Kong and is expected to play a full role in both of the scheduled games but where his long-term future lies is anyone’s guess.
Watch this space.