It was far from the busiest summer at Selhurst Park, in fact, much of the business was done in the final few days of the transfer window.
With former Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Stephen Henderson joining on a free to fill the void left by the departed Julian Speroni, and the permanent deal for Ghana international Jordan Ayew confirmed after his stint in South London last term, there are three other new faces added to the squad.
The first of the three to arrive was Gary Cahill, available on a free after being released by Chelsea at the end of last season, who has signed a two year deal and provides much needed back up for the injury prone Mamadou Sakho and James Tomkins.
Next up, Victor Camarasa, a target for much of the summer eventally signed from Real Betis on a 12 month loan deal with a view to a permanent move after catching the eye with Cardiff last season.
The final arrival was James McCarthy, a midfielder from Everton that Palace have been linked with for what seems like forever. After much much of the media suggesting he was to be a potential make-weight, Palace captured his signing for a fee believed to be in the region of £3million.
So, what can we expect from those three additions? TEB had a chat with the fans that know and we kick off with the guys at the excellent Cardiff City fan group, View From The Ninian who speak very highly of Camarasa;
“God, where do we start? Victor is an absolutely sensational player and was a was a real bright spark. He is a really classy footballer who runs with the ball really well, a very adept passer and can score all types of goals. We did not really know what we were getting when he signed but he was probably our player of the year and was, at times, a few yards ahead of the rest of his team mates.
You have got an absolute hero, he seemed to get the club and the fans and we took to him as much as he took to us. He had a mid-season wobble with injury but that does not really taint his time with us. You only have to search his name on Twitter to see the outpouring of love for him.
We knew little about him when he joined but quickly displayed his class and technical ability, scores some great goals and just oozes class on the ball. No disrespect to Palace, Camarasa could easily be playing for a side challenging for the Europa League. He spent much of the season at the front of a midfield three and has a wand of a right boot, his goal against Leicester shows that. We are excited to see what he does for you!”
Former England international Cahill spent seven years at Stamford Bridge and in that time won a number of trophies. The guys at Chelsea Rumours believe he will be real asset for Palace;
“When Chelsea signed Gary Cahill from strugglers Bolton in January 2012, most people will have been forgiven for not paying much attention. Yes, Cahill had earned his first England cap, and most people agreed that he was Premier League quality, but the step up was quite something nonetheless, and few would’ve expected him to become anything more than just a squad signing, stepping in when injuries allowed him to do so.
In fairness, that probably was the plan Chelsea had intended for him – but fast forward five months, and there he was, starting Chelsea’s second ever Champions League final, against Bayern Munich who were heavy favourites to lift the trophy. Both he and David Luiz had been major doubts for the game due to respective injuries, but neither of them were going to let that stand in their way for what is arguably football’s most anticipated match season after season.
The now 33-year-old did not put a foot wrong for 120 minutes, and Chelsea of course went on to lift the trophy – and that is what you get with Gary. He may not be the best footballer on the planet, and he won’t fit into the modern day philosophy of centre backs needing to play the ball out, even in high-risk situations – but he’ll get his head down and crack on, no matter what’s in front of him, and no matter how immensely the odds are stacked against you.
Cahill is what is often referred to as a proper English defender, perhaps a dying breed. His immense physique compared with his almost suicidal mindset at times, throwing his head infront of anything regardless of potential consequence, is what has led the man to win every domestic trophy available to him, as well as a Champion’s League and two Europa League’s. He has also contributed to winning most of those trophies, not just watching on from the bench and happily picking up his winner’s medal at the end of it all. The man is a winner, and Palace will be much the richer with his presence in the dressing room.
He is prone to the occasional mistake, but will equally contribute in front of goal at the other end, and for a team like Palace, he will be a fine asset to have. It is not just Palace who run out winners here; in Puma, Cahill has finally found the perfect kit manufacturer to really leave nothing to the imagination when it comes to his immense biceps, a fact the whole Premier League should rejoice in.”
As for McCarthy, a real commentators nightmare with James McArthur already at the club, Everton fan Andy admits he cannot say enough nice things about the Irishman, and genuinely hopes he will be a success for the Eagles;
“McCarthy joined us in 2013 when Roberto Martinez bought him from former club Wigan for about £13million – a fair chunk of change for us at the time. He absolutely hit the ground running and he was a key player in the side which finished 5th that season. His energy and tenacity in midfield were transformative for us alongside the experience of Gareth Barry.
The Irishman continued as a key player for Martinez throughout his time at Goodison, although he began to suffer occasional hamstring issues. Martinez being sacked was a turning point. Although his successor, Ronald Koeman, seemed to also rate McCarthy, injuries began to become more of an issue and there were frequent squabbles with Irish boss Martin O’Neill over his continued use over a player who we deemed to be half-fit. Indeed, there was more than one occasion where McCarthy made himself available for Ireland and then came back to us injured, having not been available to play for us beforehand. This was the beginning of the end for him.
The signing of Idrissa Gueye, who played the all-action, high pressing role that McCarthy filled was more or less the nail in the coffin although his subsequent horror injury against West Brom where he snapped his leg, delayed his departure. Whether it be for reasons of fitness, form or ability it would appear that Marco Silva didn’t see a future for him here and in fairness James did seem to need a new start.
His move to Palace comes at a time when he seems to have regained full fitness and if you have a fit, in-form James McCarthy then you have a good player. His energy is infectious and his acceleration, power and speed across the midfield is a big asset.
Most Evertonians wish him very well. I was somewhat bemused by the lukewarm reaction I perceived from some of the Palace fans – perhaps that’s because he’s been out of the limelight for a little while. If he really is fit, you’ve got yourselves a bargain. Energy in abundance, the ability to break from midfield and he is a player who puts absolutely everything on the line for his club.”
So there you have it, plenty of postive comments from fans that have enjoyed Camarasa, Cahill and McCarthy and enough to suggest that they will all make a contribution at Selhurst Park.