No end in sight for Palace’s striker problems

Crystal Palace

It isn't easy being a striker for Crystal Palace - poor form and injury seem to lurk around every corner at Selhurst Park, with the latter striking again.

The Eagles look to have lost their only January transfer window addition for the rest of the season and, to make matters worse, he plays in a position where Palace can ill-afford to lose players.

The man in question is Cenk Tosun, with the Athletic reporting the Turkey international has suffered a serious knee injury in training, which will likely see him miss the remainder of the Premier League campaign and also Euro 2020.

It is a bitter blow for both Tosun and Palace, who had offered the 28-year-old the chance to get some regular game time under his belt after being sidelined at Everton.

However, his stint at Selhurst Park could well be at an end after just five appearances and one goal following the injury, with his loan agreement with the Toffees expiring at the end of the campaign.

Tosun is just the latest chapter in a catalogue of disasters to have befallen Palace when it comes to strikers.

The prime example of the club’s bad luck when it comes to attackers is Christian Benteke, who has fast become a millstone around the Eagles’ neck.

The Londoners broke their transfer record to sign the Belgian in the summer of 2016 and everyone involved with Palace was confident they could help Benteke turn his career around after a difficult spell at Liverpool.

While they did get a decent return out of Benteke in his first season – 17 goals in 40 appearances – there has been a sharp drop-off since, with the 29-year-old having scored three in 2017/18 and one in an injury-hit 2018/19 campaign.

This season, he’s again stuck on one, going 10 months between Premier League goals. It seems clear Benteke is a lost cause, but what other choices does manager Roy Hodgson have?

Jordan Ayew, who has never been a prolific striker in his career, is the current top scorer for Palace, with seven, and it is no surprise to see they are one of the lowest-scoring sides in the Premier League once again this this season.

This isn’t a new problem for Palace. Not since Andy Johnson in the 2004/05 season have the club had a striker pass the 20-goal mark in the Premier League and there appears no end in sight to their woes.

While Palace are struggling for a striker, one man they have seemingly written off can’t stop hitting the back of the net.

The Eagles spent over £8million to sign Alexander Sorloth in January 2018 but immediately he didn’t look like the answer to their problems, scoring once in 20 appearances.

Fast-forward to 2020 and the 24-year-old is on the radar of Real Madrid and Bayern Munich after a scintillating run of form on loan at Trabzonspor, scoring 25 times in 36 games for the Turks.

Just to rub salt into the wounds, Trabzonspor have the option to make his loan permanent for the cut-price fee of £6million, according to reports in Turkey.

The Norwegian looks like he’ll be the one that got away and it will back to the drawing board for Palace as they continue to float around in the Premier League’s lower-middle table, waiting for someone to shoot them up the standings.

When will Palace’s striking saviour arrive? Recent history suggests not anytime soon.