Hopkin Looking To Curl One…

A regular blog dedicated to Crystal Palace Football Club through the eyes of a fanatical supporter, contemplating everything from results to the colour of Stuart O'Keefe's boot laces…

Archive for the tag “transfer”

Mandela Egbo’s Palace Departure Leaves A Bitter Taste In The Mouth

Over the last year or so, Mandela Egbo has been a name on everyone’s lips at Selhurst Park. Seen as one of the brightest lights in our academy set-up, he was touted as the next player capable of forcing his way into the first-team, but now, after a prolonged spell in footballing limbo, he is gone.

Deciding not to sign a professional contract in SE25, he has instead chosen to take a huge leap of faith in signing for Borussia Mönchengladbach, uprooting his entire life in the hope of making a splash in the Bundesliga. To most neutrals, it will be viewed as a brave and admirable step, but after eight years with our academy staff by his side, it does sting a bit to see him move on.

Thanks to the regulations over deals of this nature, the club are now due no compensation whatsoever from the German outfit, which will always leave a bitter taste in the mouth; with all the work we have done with him counting for absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Whilst it took quite a while for the announcement to be made, Egbo’s impending departure was something that had been known about inside the club for quite some time, with Jack Thurston, who regularly contributes to this site saying:

I was made aware of Mandela’s move to Germany a few weeks ago, but we decided not to report it until the news became official, for fear of the damage it may cause to the deal.”

Admittedly, some may suggest that a story centered around a highly-prized asset leaving the club for nothing would do little harm to us internally as a football club, but there remain principles by which sites such as this one have to be run.

Quite regularly, information will come our way prior to an official announcement being made by the club, with the obvious temptation to share it counterbalanced by the potential harm it could do, not just on a deal by deal basis, but in the long-term.

In the case of Mandela Egbo, there is an obvious and understandable tendency to look at it from one side of the fence without taking a moment to consider his personal goals in what is an extremely short career. After seeing the number of academy graduates dropping steeply after the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Jonny Williams made the step up, the right-back has clearly looked towards German football as the place for him to thrive and for that, he should be commended.

You can be sure his intentions were never to leave the football club without any form of compensation when losing him, but for a teenager looking to make his way in a ruthless industry, he shouldn’t be demonised for doing what is perceived to be right for him on a personal level.

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Palace “Close” To Making Benfica Winger Their First Summer Signing

If you’re on Twitter, you’ve almost certainly seen Graeme Bailey pop up on your timeline occasionally. He’s a freelance football journalist with 50,000 odd followers, who’s record when it comes to predicting transfers is as good as anyone. 

With that in mind, his report late last night suggesting that Crystal Palace are close to securing their first signing of the summer in the shape of Benfica winger Ola John should probably be taken a tad more seriously than some of the garbage that has made its way online over the last few weeks. 

The brother of former Fulham striker Collins John, Ola is only 23, but after starting his career wIth FC Twente, he was happy to take a leap of faith in moving to Benfica in 2012, going on to make 53 league appearances for them since, netting three goals in the process. 

Swansea were thought to be extremely close to securing John on a permanent basis last summer, but some last minute hitches meant that the deal collapsed, leaving the Dutchman a little disheartened, but now, after apparently meeting with Alan Pardew, a move to the Premier League looks to be back on the agenda. 

I won’t lie to you, I’d never heard of him until I clicked on the article and I dare say I’m not the only one in that predicament, but having looked into his career to date, it seems as though he may have something to offer us, depending on the fee being discussed. 

Whilst we are no longer shopping in the bargain bucket, we won’t be heading out and paying top dollar all over Europe yet either, with this sort of signing likely to be the level at which we reside for the next two of three years, depending on the success we have under Pardew’s management.

Much like his brother Collins, Ola John’s name is back to front, not to mention the fact that when googling him for information, pictures of Strictly Come Dancing’s Ola Jordan appeared on my screen, but we shouldn’t hold either of those things against him. He may be a revelation if he does indeed make the switch to SE25. 

For rolling news and comment on everything happening at Crystal Palace FC, follow Hopkin Looking To Curl One… on twitter by clicking here…

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