Palace this week completed the signing of French striker Jean-Philippe Mateta on an 18-month loan deal from German club Mainz.
The 23-year-old’s arrival is the first of the January transfer window for the Eagles and subject to international clearance. The deal includes an option to make the move permanent.
Born in the Paris suburb of Sevran, Mateta played for anumber of clubs at youth level before making his professional debut for Chateauroux in 2015. He signed for Lyon for 2 million Euros in September 2016 where he found limited opportunities in the first team. However, a successful spell at Le Havre saw him score 17 goals in 35 appearances which caught the eye of Mainz 05 who signed him for a club record fee in June 2018.
Mateta scored 10 goals for the struggling Bundesliga side this season in his 15 appearances, making his total at the club 24 goals in 67 league matches.
Palace have reportedly a loan fee of 3 million Euros in order to secure the option to buy the Frenchman for a further 15 million Euros.
Watch his first interview on Palace TV;
Steve Parish told Palace TV: “We have followed Jean-Philippe’s development with keen interest for some time, and I’m pleased that we have been able to bring him to South London. He is a player that is full of potential with a proven goalscoring record, and his signing reiterates our commitment to ensuring we have a well-balanced squad in terms of youth and experience for the seasons ahead.”
The signing of Mateta does raise questions about the current batch of strikers at the club with the future of Christian Benteke particularly under threat.
Elsewhere, Max Meyer was surprisingly released from his contract early and is free to join another club. The 25-year-old German made 56 appearances for the Eagles, scoring twice in a stint that did not really work out well for either party.
Tranmere Rovers have signed midfielder Nya Kirby on loan until the end of the season. The 20-year-old, who was a member of the England squad that won the Under-17 World Cup in 2017, made his debut for Palace in the EFL Cup this season. He had a loan spell with Blackpool in the second half of the 2018-19 season.
Palace are hotly tipped to be in for Leicester City winger Demari Gray who appears to be surplus to requirements at the King Power Stadium. The news was broken early today by Palace correspondent for The Athletic, Dom Fifield.