With Crystal Palace in the market for a new centre-back or three, Patrick Vieira was never going to accept just any old potato-patch plodder.
A defender in his new-look Palace side must be able to pass as well as tackle, start attacks as well as stop them.
Hence why Joachim Andersen, a man who’s raking diagonals became such a huge part of Scott Parker’s blueprint at Fulham, has emerged as the preferred option to partner Marc Guehi at the heart of Vieira’s backline.
The Athletic claims that Crystal Palace will fork out £19 million to Lyon for the former Craven Cottage loanee.
If – or when – a deal can be agreed, The Eagles will have spent nearly £40 million on two new defenders since Roy Hodgson rode off into the Selhurst sunset.
Now, the last time Andersen swapped clubs for such a fee, he proved to be a major disappointment. The Denmark international lasted just 21 games after becoming Lyon’s all-time record signing in the summer of 2019.
This, coupled with the fact that his Fulham side were relegated from the Premier League last season, conceding 53 goals along the way, means Andersen may arrive at Selhurst Park with a point to prove.
But, if you ask the Fulham faithful, a disappointing 2020/21 would have been a lot worse without a man who’s commanding performances so often bailed out his error-prone team-mates.
When fit and focused, Andersen is a monster of a centre-back, brilliant in the air and even better with the ball at his feet.