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09 Jan 2017


ON THIS DAY: JAN 9 FONTE TO SAINTS FROM PALACE

JANUARY 9, 2010: JOSE FONTE JOINS SOUTHAMPTON FROM CRYSTAL PALACE FOR £1.2MILLION

Crystal Palace fans were left shocked when Jose Fonte, who had been a regular starter, took the decision to leave them for Southampton. 

At the time Palace were in the Championship with players like Nathaniel Clyne and Victor Moses in the team, but they were still one division ahead of the Saints who were in League One with Adam Lallana in their ranks.

But the Portugal international took the decision to drop down a level to play for Alan Pardew, who was the manager at St Mary's at the time and would later become manager of Crystal Palace, because he believed it would give him the best opportunity to play at the top level.

Fonte joined Southampton on a three-and-a-half-year contract and said at the time: "I want to play in the Premier League and I think I can do that quickest by moving here."

He made his debut in a 1-1 League One draw at Millwall on January 16, but his instincts proved to be correct as Southampton completed their rise to the Premier League when they finished Championship runners-up in 2011-12, one season before Palace gained promotion to the top flight through the play-offs.

Fonte has now played over 150 Premier League games for Southampton and he was a member of the Portugal squad which were crowned European Champions in 2016.

In January 2017 he handed in a transfer request at Southampton, with Crystal Palace and Manchester United rumoured as possible destinations.  

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