The good news just keeps on coming for Crystal Palace fans. First there was the arrival of club-record-signing Yohan Cabaye and now the news that Player of the Year Scott Dann has signed a new contract at the club. Both of those announcements followed the news that Brede Hangeland had extended his deal at Selhurst Park.
Arguably, Dann is a more important signing than Cabaye, although were you to actually use that argument down the pub you'll probably find plenty of people ready to disagree. But without Cabaye next season, Palace would still be a fairly decent force going forward. Without Dann, the Eagles would be a complete mess at the back.
The centre-back from Merseyside keeps everything ticking at the back and has absolutely thrived at Selhurst since making the budget move from Blackburn Rovers 18 months ago. Arguably, he's been the Eagles' most important signing since becoming a Premier League club two years ago. He was instrumental in Palace staying up in 2013-14 and went on to win the club's Player of the Year award a year later.
There had been reports a few weeks ago that he would be joining Everton, and it sort of made sense given that he still has family up north and is keen on returning some day. But the arrival of Cabaye and the ambition shown by the Eagles has probably helped keep Dann down south for a bit longer.
There's no doubt that Dann has a positive effect on the players around him; centre-back partner Damien Delaney had the season of his career last campaign and owes much of that to his defensive pal. The Irishman has visibly improved in all areas of his game and has struck up a telling partnership with Dann.
There's so much of Dann's game that oozes class; from his insistence on playing the ball out from the back when possible instead of lumping it forward, to his incisive distribution. His positional sense is first class and Palace fans lost count with the number of times he casually nicked the ball off opposition forwards last season.
He can also score goals, netting four times last season -- all with his head -- which actually made him Palace's joint fifth-highest goal scorer. In short, he's absolute class and is already being spoken of in the same breath as some of the club's best ever centre-backs like Jim Cannon and Chris Coleman.
While most of Dann's contributions go unnoticed by the TV cameras, he's still had some high-profile input;. He scored in the crucial winner against Leicester in September 2014, he notched twice in Alan Pardew's first game with the club in the FA Cup at Dover in January 2015 as the new manager got off to the perfect start and it was Dann's chipped pass that Glenn Murray chested down to Dwight Gayle for the equaliser in the 3-3 draw with Liverpool a year ago -- Palace's greatest game since their return to the Premier League.
But it seems like outside Selhurst, no one else really rates him that much. A fully deserved England cap still hasn't arrived and even when those Everton rumours were growing very strong indeed, most Toffees fans didn't seem that bothered. "He'll be a good backup to Phil Jagielka and John Stones" seemed to be the popular response -- which was ridiculous. Dann is better than both, and in fact, would be an excellent partner for the young Stones.
If there's any karma in the world then Dann will score the winner against Everton this season; adding to the goal he scored at Goodison Park back in April 2014 as Palace won 3-2 -- freakishly a result they copied identically the following season.
Thankfully, Dann has agreed to stay and it's another building block as the Eagles continue to improve on their successes of the last two seasons. Bit by bit, they are improving the squad and seemingly making all the right decisions.
Cabaye has obviously, and rightly, grabbed all the headlines in the past week. His arrival really does signal Palace's intention to become the biggest club they can possibly be and it's set hearts all aflutter in South London, but the shine seriously would have been taken off had Dann left.
Now he's agreed to stick around, there's only a few extra bits where Palace need to improve: a new striker is definitely needed, one more goalkeeper wouldn't go amiss and the toilets in the Arthur Wait stand seriously need an upgrade.
If all those things are sorted out by the time Palace travel to Norwich for the opening game of the season, then Eagles fans have permission to get very excited indeed for the coming campaign because the club wouldn't have been able to prepare any better.