According to reports in L’Equipe, Crystal Palace have been in touch with Arsenal-linked Toulouse goalkeeper Alban Lafont and have promised to give the highly-rated teenager the number one shirt if he agrees to a move in the summer window.
Despite his tender years, Lafont has already amassed more than 100 appearances for the French outfit and is looked upon as one of the brightest goalkeeping talents within the European game by a raft of scouts. Admittedly, were a club like Arsenal to make their interest in him concrete, you’d assume Roy Hodgson and co. wouldn’t stand a chance of landing him but by making what looks to be a decisive move so early in the window, it feels as though we’re attempting to steal a march on Unai Emery.
Having made his first-team bow at just 16, Lafont is reportedly keen to move on from Toulouse this summer in an effort to improve his all-round game; having met with the club’s hierarchy earlier in the season to discuss his exit strategy. Of course they’d love to keep him but having only just scraped survival in the top tier of French football after a relegation play-off with Ajaccio on Sunday, I don’t envisage Lafont being forced to sit tight throughout the 2018/19 season.
One potential spanner in the works comes in the shape of Vicente Guaita, who Palace have already signed a pre-contract agreement with. Whilst I see no harm in the Eagles having both Lafont and the Spaniard on the books heading into the new campaign, I can’t imagine Vicente being too happy about sitting on the bench at Selhurst Park, if the club have indeed promised the 19-year-old Frenchman a starting role in between the sticks.
With neither man having been pictured holding a shirt aloft at the training ground yet, discussions on team dynamics will no doubt seem premature to some but after two or three years of uncertainty over the quality of our goalkeeping options, it certainly seems as though the gaffer is working hard to stop the same dilemmas from occurring in August.