A striker has to be a Palace priority in January
The summer transfer window may have only just slammed shut but plenty of managers will already be thinking ahead to January.
For Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson – a striker has to be his number one priority going into the mid-season transfer window. The Eagles may be soaring in fourth spot, with seven points from four games, but goals have been an issue. Palace have managed just three goals so far and only rock-bottom Watford have scored less.
The club’s reliance on Wilfried Zaha has been well documented but Palace won’t be looking at the Ivory Coast international as a long-term fixture. Zaha was keen on an exit over the summer but ultimately failed to secure a move.
It has been reported he has a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ that he will be granted an exit if a Champions League club comes calling with a suitable bid – and that may well happen in January. Given the speculation over his future, you get the feeling the club will be lucky to keep hold of Zaha until the end of the season.
Christian Benteke has struggled since his arrival at Selhurst Park and is yet to open his account for the season. Fellow Palace striker Connor Wickham has had injury issues during his time with the club and it came as a surprise when he put pen to paper on a contract extension earlier this year. It remains to be seen as to whether he will ever be able to get back to the level that convinced the south London club to fork out £9million for him in 2017.
Jordan Ayew has been the shining light so far, with two goals, but the Ghanaian has never managed more than seven league goals in a season during his time in England. As impressive as he has been in these opening rounds of the season, it would still be a surprise if he did manage to come up with the goals on a consistent basis.
FULL-TIME Man Utd 1-2 Crystal Palace
— Premier League (@premierleague) August 24, 2019
Of course, only one stat matters and that is how many points you have on the board but there are some worrying signs for Palace. So far, Hodgson’s men have managed just 39 shots in four league games. Manchester City lead the way with 77 shots, while only Sheffield United have had less efforts than Palace (38).
According to the official Premier League website, Palace just aren’t creating chances as they have only seen three big chances missed and so Hodgson may want to bring in a bit more creativity in the winter window. However, ultimately he needs someone to score regularly and a striker simply has to be his top priority.
Over the weekend it was claimed Palace are looking at Russia international Artem Dzyuba, so it seems as if Hodgson is considering his attacking options, and if Palace don’t bring in a new forward in January it seems more likely they’ll be battling away at the wrong end of the table rather than fighting it out in the top half.