Alan Pardew has hailed Mathieu Flamini’s leadership and passing ability after signing him on a free while the midfielder said Pardew was key to him signing for Crystal Palace.

I’m not sure which part of that opener is the funniest, really.

Speaking to the official Crystal Palace website, Flamini said, “Crystal Palace is a very ambitious club with great players and I am looking forward to being part of that squad. It is a very interesting challenge for me and I am very excited to be here. 

“I have had chance to discuss the move here with Alan Pardew and he really helped me make my decision.” 

While Pardew added, “I thought it was important to get another midfield player. His playing ability will help us but also his leadership qualities and his ability of how to win games in a passing style. I am delighted that we have secured a player of his stature.”

JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images
JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images

If by ‘leadership’ Pardew means running around, shouting and pointing a lot while getting needlessly booked and making stupid, game-changing decisions, then they have one of the best ‘leaders’ in the game in Flamini.

Am I being too harsh on Mathieu? Maybe, but probably not.

His re-signing at Arsenal was more a sign of the market and the club’s inability to get bodies in than it was an endorsement of his talent.

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Arsenal's French midfielder Mathieu Flamini reacts after missing a chance during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium in London on January 24, 2016. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL
BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

Flamini played 16 Premier League games last season, starting 12 of those.

Anyway, at least we can watch on from a distance now at the absolute chaos he causes for Pardew and his merry band of Eagles.

And at least it makes Mesut Ozil happy. That’s the main thing, really.