Who Should Crystal Palace Target In The Transfer Window?
It would be fair to say that most Palace fans have been impressed so far this season.
We are currently sitting pretty in the top half of the Premier League and Alan Pardew has started to build an imposing squad that could compete for a European spot next season. However, there are still a few weaknesses in the squad and the club may opt to move for one or two players in January.
Traditionally, it has been a poor time to invest heavily but a couple of incomings could help motivate the squad ahead of the gruelling second half of the campaign.
Ultimately, the main need is a striker. After selling Glenn Murray to Bournemouth in the summer, many believed that the likes of Dwight Gayle, Frazier Campbell and Connor Wickham would step up to the plate but the Eagles still lack a consistent forward to score the goals.
Palace have been linked with two potent attacking threats in the form of Queens Park Rangers striker Charlie Austin and Chelsea’s French forward Loic Remy. While Pardew has dismissed the Austin rumours, it would not be a total surprise to see the Eagles make a last ditch bid for him later in the transfer window, especially as he is out of contract in the summer and Rangers may want to get some money back for him.
Former Poole Town striker Austin was in phenomenal form last season but could not prevent Queens Park Rangers from slipping down to the second tier of English football. In thirty five Premier League games, he scored eighteen goals which is a great achievement considering how poor Rangers performed. Palace are lacking a reliable goalscorer in attack and must sign somebody of the calibre of Austin if a top six finish is a realistic aim this season.
According to odds at 32Red UK at the time of writing, the Eagles are 5/1 to finish in the Europa League places and the goals that Austin could provide would go some way to helping Pardew’s men to achieve this goal.
Another potential candidate is Loic Remy. Palace travelled to Aston Villa, another club who are considering a move for the Frenchman, this midweek and Remy may have had one eye on events at Villa Park. The Chelsea forward is not getting much time on the field right now and will be desperate to sign for a club that can offer him regular football but also remain competitive throughout the season.
Villa are rooted to the bottom of the Premier League and Winner and 32Red are pricing them at odds on to suffer relegation down to the Championship at the time of writing. Their lowly position could tempt Remy to join the revolution at Selhurst Park instead.
— Fletch And Sav (@FletchAndSav) January 3, 2016
The Eagles are incredibly strong in central midfield, however, Swansea City star Jonjo Shelvey was heavily linked with a move to South London. The Welsh side are struggling to inspire confidence this season and many of their top names are looking for a way out of the club.
Since leaving Liverpool, Shelvey has shone at the Liberty Stadium but has fallen out of favour since Garry Monk left the club. Despite his talents, it is hard to see where he would have fitted into the Palace ranks. Yohan Cabaye, James McArthur, Mile Jedinak and Joe Ledley are reliable, solid midfielders and all three have gained Pardew’s trust. Shelvey’s passing ability would certainly be useful, however, speculation ended as Newcastle United signed him for £12 million yesterday.
So, will Palace sign any of these players?
In a recent press conference, Pardew stated that he would not be bringing in a defender or a midfielder this window which leaves the door firmly open for an attacking player to come in.
The most realistic prospect is Remy. The Chelsea forward is not getting any game time under Guus Hiddink and will be desperate for a move elsewhere. A transfer to Palace means that he does not have to leave his current home and can remain in London, his family remain settled and he will be able to shine as the leading man in a lethal attacking unit. Everything adds up. Austin is likely to see out his contract at Loftus Road and, while Shelvey would a decent addition to the squad, he is not a must buy and the Swans valuation will probably be too high to tempt Pardew.
If Palace sign Remy, we should all be excited about our chances of sneaking a top six finish.