Will Crystal Palace’s transfer business help them to improve?
Crystal Palace’s Transfer Business has been good so far this summer.
Crystal Palace Football Club have become Premier League regulars since their promotion via the Championship play-off final in 2013. After a succession of managers since that historic day, the club seems to be confident in the ability of their current boss, former Liverpool and England manager Roy Hodgson. Roy recently celebrated his 3 year anniversary of taking charge of Palace, in which time he has guided them to finishes of 11th, 12th and 14th in England’s top flight over the last 3 seasons.
These league finishes are extremely impressive achievements for Hodgson, especially when considering the lack of funds available to improve the team each transfer window. However, some fans are now becoming bored and frustrated by Palace’s play style which is defensive, cautious and unimaginative. Palace don’t score enough goals – in the 2019/2020 Premier League season they scored just 31 goals in 38 games, a total only superior to bottom-placed Norwich City.
Palace seem to be slightly on the slide. They need to do good business this window, otherwise it may well be a long season trying to avoid the drop for Roy Hodgson’s men. They need to win the fans back onside and with the solid defence that they already have, commanded by former England centre back Gary Cahill, it is in the forward areas where the focus for improvement should be.
Crystal Palace’s summer 2020 transfer business so far:
Nathan Ferguson (from West Brom, free)
This promising 19-year-old right back, who has played for England’s U20s, was signed by Palace on a free transfer after his contract expired at newly promoted Premier League rivals West Brom. Ferguson made 21 appearances for his old team in the Championship last season, his campaign cut short in early 2020 by a serious knee injury.
Ferguson is an excellent young player with immense potential. He had been linked with huge clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur, Juventus and Atletico Madrid before his season ending injury. He is quick, defensively savvy and not afraid to make forward, incisive passes. Ferguson has already been compared with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, the former Palace man now starting for Manchester United – if his performances for the Eagles ever reach a similar level to those of Wan-Bissaka, Palace have a real talent on their hands.
London bound. Delighted to announce that I have signed for @cpfc
I can’t wait to attack the Premier League next season. Thanks to all at Palace. Looking forward to meeting the lads and getting started. God is good 🙏🏿🦅 pic.twitter.com/ICwVEfXpnI
— FERGIE (@Nathan6Ferguson) July 21, 2020
Eberechi Eze (from QPR, £16.02m)
This is a superb signing for Crystal Palace that will certainly help them improve in forward areas this season. Eze is a 22-year-old attacking midfielder with pace, power and flair. He played 46 times in the Championship for QPR last season – that’s every single game – scoring 14 goals and assisting 8 times. These figures meant that no QPR player scored more or assisted more in the league last season. He was the team’s talisman.
Now, he’s a Crystal Palace player. They have paid good money for him and he is expected to deliver. He will be a welcome addition to a Palace side that struggles for creativity. As an attacking midfielder who is adaptable to play out wide or down the middle, Eze gives Roy Hodgson plenty of options. He could play just behind the striker, adding much needed support from midfield, or he could play as a winger, isolating defenders and running at them. The talented youngster has already made three appearances for Palace – a substitute appearance against Southampton and Manchester United in the league and a start in the Carabao Cup against Bournemouth. So far, he has been deployed as a left midfielder which suggests Hodgson doesn’t intend to change his tried and tested formation that focuses on exploiting the wings.
If Eze has the same impact on Crystal Palace that he did on QPR last season, the Eagles’ fans will be in for a treat.
Eberechi Eze is an Eagle 🦅
The midfielder's 2019/20 Championship stats for QPR 👇
🤝 46 games
✨ 82 chances created
⚽️ 14 goals
🅰️ 8 assists pic.twitter.com/xHQ9TGmzvR
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) August 28, 2020
Michy Batshuayi (from Chelsea, loan)
Michy Batshuayi joins Palace on loan from Chelsea for the second time in his often unsettled career. He made the same move across London in January 2019 which was intended to give his Premier League career a kick start. To some extent, the move was a success. Batshuayi scored 6 goals in 14 appearances in all competitions for Palace, including scoring twice in a 5-3 home win over Bournemouth on the final day of the Premier League season. His goal scoring efforts earned him a squad place at parent club Chelsea for the 2019/20 season.
However, the striker did not have a good season at all. He made just 16 league appearances, the vast majority of which came from the bench, and only scored once. Batshuayi was demoted to third choice in his position during the season with Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud both finding their goalscoring touch at the head of the Chelsea team. This season, with Chelsea adding another striker to their squad, Timo Werner, Batshuayi’s services are not required in South West London.
He makes the move to Selhurst Park when Palace need him most. Their shyness in front of goal last season is a serious cause for concern, and a problem that makes them relegation candidates without improvement in the attacking area of the pitch. Last season, their top scorer was striker Jordan Ayew with just 9 goals, followed by Wilfried Zaha with 4.
Will Batshuayi make an impact for Palace? Only time will tell, but on paper, he is a proven goal scorer across multiple European leagues. And after all, Palace can’t really be picky about goal scorers – they simply are desperate for one of any kind!
Michy Batshuayi's club career so far:
👤 290 games
📋 109 starts
⚽️ 112 goals
🅰️ 29 assists
Heroic numbers. 🦸♂️ pic.twitter.com/ZybmiQbmKx
— Goal (@goal) February 1, 2019
Crystal Palace’s transfer business: what’s next?
Most excitingly for Eagles fans, Palace have been heavily linked with Brentford’s clever attacking star man Said Benrahma. The Algerian scored 17 goals and assisted 9 more in the Championship as he lead his side to the play-off final, where they were eventually defeated by Fulham.
Benrahma is a class act, with superb passing and finishing ability, he floats around the pitch not too dissimilarly to his national team colleague Riyad Mahrez. He would surely add yet more fire power to a notably improving Palace squad, as the Eagles attempt to raid the Championship for its best talent once again.
Benrahma, alongside Eze, would also provide much needed ammunition to Palace’s squad if current star man Wilfried Zaha gets the move away from Selhurst Park that he so desires. Zaha has been absolutely pivotal to any success that Crystal Palace have had in the last few seasons – in the 2018/19 season, he registered double-figure tallies for both goals and assists in the Premier League. He is Palace’s talisman whose value is emphasised by the fact that he plays in a team that already struggles for goals.
However, a move for Zaha would command a very high fee from Crystal Palace – at the start of last season, Palace rejected an eye-watering £70m plus players offer from Everton for Zaha. This means that players like Benrahma and Jeremie Boga, who Palace have been linked with as a replacement for the talented Zaha, would be made more affordable to the club as they could reinvest Zaha’s money.
Palace would have a fight on their hands to secure Boga’s signature, with some of Europe’s elite clubs showing interest including PSG, Dortmund and Napoli. The 23-year-old winger was a standout player for his side Sassuolo in their last Serie A campaign that saw them finish 8th, registering 11 goals and 4 assists. Would the glamour of the Premier League be enough to attract a young player to join Palace? Only time will tell, but Palace fans should be at least pleased that their club is making reasonable plans should Zaha’s desired move come to fruition.
Another winger that Palace have been linked to is Bright Osayi-Samuel from QPR. The player seems keen on a move to the Premier League club as talks over a new deal with his current club have stalled.
Roy Hodgson has confirmed that Wilfred Zaha is 'set' on leaving Crystal Palace this summer. pic.twitter.com/ieby8x5bkC
— Transferchanger (@TransferChanger) July 27, 2020
The season ahead
Overall, Crystal Palace fans can look forward to another solid season in the Premier League. With their strong defence and capable manager, relegation should not be a real danger for the Eagles.
On top of this, looking further up the pitch, Palace look more exciting. This is what the fans really want: more attacking flair, courage and skill. Batshuayi and Eze should add goals and creativity respectively. Keeping hold of Wilfried Zaha, who has scored 3 goals in Palace’s 2 wins to start the 2020/21 Premier League season, is the ideal scenario for the club. However, if Zaha does not get his move, he may not play to his full potential. This would be an issue for Palace’s attacking plans, and therefore some fans are starting to argue that their club should let Zaha leave to make way for more committed players like Benrahma and Boga to fill the void.
This season should be a successful one for Crystal Palace. They have already improved their squad in this transfer window and there is a high chance they will make further positive changes before the deadline on October 5th.
We hope you enjoyed the article ‘Crystal Palace’s Transfer Business: A Successful Season?’ How well do you think Palace will do this season? Let us know!
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