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Steve Mandanda signing for Crystal Palace is one of the steals of the summer.
The 31 year old, formerly linked with Chelsea has finally made his move to the Premier League, and will surely be a worthy signing.
As for his age, being a goalkeeper means he still has a few years at the top level to play under his belt as seen by the likes of Buffon, Cech and Casillas.
The French international, signed from Marseille remains highly rated in France, and this is what he could bring to the team.
Mandanda has captained Marseille for over three seasons and this shows his leadership qualities.
He commands respect in the locker room and on the pitch.
His decision making also points out to his leadership, as he takes command of his penalty area superbly and is not afraid to go for the ball from corners and crosses.
In the past four years, Mandanda has claimed more crosses than any other goalkeeper in Ligue 1 (231), and this can be attributed majorly to him being ever present in goal for Marseille.
It’s very rare to find a leader on the pitch with a lack of experience.
Mandanda has made over 300 appearances in Ligue 1 alone since signing for Marseille from Le Havre.
In fact, putting this plainly is simply an understatement. Last season, he made 30 Ligue 1 appearances. A career low ever since signing for Marseille in 2007.
Mandanda has only missed 14 Ligue 1 matches in a span of 9 seasons.
This simply shows his wealth of experience, and the trust that the managers have placed on him.
His longevity and injury free career will most probably make him thrive at his new club.
Mandanda is a proven winner, and this mentality will be needed at the new club.
Though Marseille have been on the decline, Mandanda remains to be recognised for his outstanding performances.
Individually, he has won the Ligue 1 best keeper 4 times, a record for the league, including the past two seasons.
In addition, he won the Ligue 1 title in 2009-10, and has also won the Coupe de La Ligue three times, and the Trophee des Champions on two occasions.
Written by Julius Musya
Follow Julius on Twitter @jsmusya
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