Much of the talk regarding defensive reinforcements at Palace this summer has centered on Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho but this morning the Eagles are being linked with a blast from the past in the shape of West Ham’s Jose Fonte.
When we first brought Fonte to these shores from Benfica back in 2008, the centre-back was just 24 and had all the makings of a top player. A relative unknown outside of the Portuguese league back then, he was sadly sold to Southampton to help the club continue to function whilst we were in the grips of administration; it was a deal which cut plenty of Palace fans pretty deep at the time.
In the years that followed, Fonte went on to make an impressive 288 appearances for the Saints, playing a pivotal role in their stabilization in the Premier League and picking up a European Championship winner’s medal with Portugal along the way but at the start of January 2017. Jose upped sticks and moved to West Ham, where his reputation has taken a relative battering ever since.
Now 33, I would raise serious concerns over whether he is the sort of character we need to help steady the defensive ship after our dismal start to the current campaign. Known to be lacking in pace and noticeably low on confidence, he’s unlikely to make the move and hit the ground running at Selhurst Park, particularly when you consider the issues we’re currently experiencing with Frank de Boer’s preference for a back three.
It could of course just be paper talk; a case of a journalist looking at a player who is ready to move on and sifting through the table to find his most realistic suitor but with just a few days to go before the transfer window closes, it feels foolish to pay the story no attention whatsoever.