Date: 19th July 2007 at 2:52pm
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At least when Aston Villa are linked with players that we know something about we can make a decision as to whether they’d fit into the squad – but what about when an obscure player from the continent is linked?

Apologies in advance to French readers of Vital Villa, and also to those who have a far deeper understanding of the French game than myself, but I doubt many know much about Lens goalkeeper Charles Itandje.

According to L’Equipe, a French newspaper that contains more links than Google, Aston Villa are now the favourites to sign the 24-year-old – though given Itandje now appears to be Lens’ third-choice shot-stopper it seems unlikely.

Add that to the claim by Sky Sports that Birmingham, Derby, Racing Santander and Real Zaragoza are just some of a number of clubs chasing Itandje’s signature, it seems this speculation has more to do with an agent engineering a move than any real interest shown by Villa.

However, it once again shows the swings-and-roundabouts nature of the summer transfer season. Only yesterday fans were debating whether Martin O’Neill should make an offer of around £9million for Hearts’ Scotland international keeper Craig Gordon and now this…a third-choice Frenchman of seemingly little acclaim.

It should be noted that yesterday’s talk of Gordon moving to Sunderland may have been premature, and perhaps Villa could still make a move. Though getting an under-contract player out of Tynecastle is about as easy as getting a declaration of expenses report out of an MP.

But let’s forget about it all for a while and enjoy the United States of America…Land of the Free (transfers, perhaps…)!


15 Replies to “Itandje – Only Spin or Villa Keeper?”

  • Certainly he appears to fit the calbre of player MON is after ! (the other french guy we rejected must have been bad !)

  • If he did join (and as you can see I doubt that) then I can’t even see him getting a chance at the bench! But this is what the summer is all about, agents having a few clubs after a player, or none at all, and suggesting the name of a club that will generate interest. Think I’d quite like to be an agent…!

  • As a french football follower, I know pretty well Charles Itandje, and I have already seen him ‘perform’…He is capable of being a pretty good shot-stopper, but he is also famous for his blunders…He’s David James’ french ‘cousin’ if you prefer…French goalkeepers are usually not too bad, but there are many French Ligue 1 and even Ligue 2 (Championship) keepers who are way better than Itandje (Coupet, Landreau, Yohan Pelรฉ…), if you want my opinion. To me, if there’s one to pick between Mandanda and Itandje, Mandanda is by far the best, even if he’s yet to appear in the french top-flight! Itandje now appears to be Lens’s 2nd choice keeper now they have signed Turkish international Runhe (not too sure about the spelling). I hope this is only paper talk. Following Mandanda’s trial, Itandje’s agent must be aware that Villa are after a goalkeeper, hence that rumour…MON wouldn’t make the mistake to sign a goalkeeper who has no chance of being better than Sorensen!

  • delirium – thanks for that, good to have someone on board who follows the game in France (I could go on about the Eircom League, but French is all Greek to me…!). Just want to clarify why I wrote he was third-choice for Lens and not second as you suggested – though I’ve no doubt you are in fact correct. I had Vedran Runje and Ronan Le Crom both down ahead of him…?

  • Are you thinking of Foster ? Last time i seen Carson he was taking a penalty at U-21 tournament!!

  • No, I just mean Carson’s general fitness problems he’s had every since he was on the verge of breaking through – a loan deal could work but as long as we have a back-up to step into his shoes (or gloves) when he breaks down. Shame because he could go on to become a decent keeper, but I worry about his fragility.

  • DerryVillan, no problem mate! I have further explanation : from what I’ve read recently in french newspapers, Lens’s goalkeeper situation is somewhat weird, as they had Itandje as first choice goalkeeper last season, then they signed Le Crom as a backup, shortly after the end of the season, and then, the manager left, was replaced by Guy Roux (former Auxerre gaffer) who chose to sign Runje, as he doesn’t rate Itandje much apparently…so actually I don’t really know if Itandje will be 2nd or 3rd choice for Lens next year neither…lol..but that’s enough for me to say that I hope he won’t be 1st or 2nd choice for Villa. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Derryvillian, hows it going. You keep a close eye of the eircom, then you must know Deco O’Brian or Fabio? (I’m not testing you or anything, just being pleasant, honest).

  • PBAVFC, I assume you mean Drogheda’s Declan O’Brien and not three different players there?!

  • Derry, sorry yes I do. He’s a friend of mine (I mix in celeb circles me). Good player, pity he’s a Liverpool fan. I’ve tried to help him change his ways but he’s not having it. Drogheda are doing excellent this year as well!!!

  • I’ve convinced myself that we’re going to go into the new season with Tommy S and Stuart T as our two senior custodians again. I’m surprised in particular that Taylor is still at the club, but realistically who is there out there, better than him, and available? Our options seem to be limited.

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