According to Sky Sports journalist Michael Bridge, Steve Parish and Dougie Freedman are already discussing potential striker targets for Crystal Palace ahead of the summer transfer window.
As we approach the business end of the Premier League season, Palace are 12 points clear of the relegation zone and, barring a disaster, they will be playing in the top flight once again next term.
However, while there have been some shining lights amongst Patrick Vieira’s squad, the strikers have often struggled, as between Odsonne Edouard, Jordan Ayew, Jean-Philippe Mateta and Christian Benteke, just 16 goals have been scored in all competitions.
Do Palace need a new striker?
Speaking to GiveMeSport, Bridge suggested that Eagles chairman Parish and director of football Freedman are already looking at potential new centre-forwards. He said: “Steve Parish and Dougie Freedman are already talking about it because they’re not going to go down, are they?”
TIF Thoughts on Palace’s transfer plans…
When Palace paid £14m to Celtic to sign Odsonne Edouard last summer, they may well have thought they had captured their starting striker for the foreseeable future.
However, the Frenchman has failed to live up to expectations, netting just six goals in 30 appearances. Benteke found the back of the net 10 times in 30 league outings last season, but has been unable to reproduce that form this campaign, while Jordan Ayew is now 31 and has never netted as many as 10 goals in a Premier League campaign. Only Mateta looks anything close to threatening right now, but even he has just five goals in 19 games since last July.
Whether Palace should throw more money at their striking problem and expect it to stick, however, is up for debate. Between them, Mateta and Edouard set the club back around £25m, and with both aged 24, they have plenty of time left ahead of them. In the current market, what striker that guarantees Premier League goals will be available for a similar fee?
Youngsters such as Marc Guehi, Tyrick Mitchell and Michael Olise have played key roles for Vieira’s men this season, and Mateta and Edouard can become important components of the French manager’s revolution at Selhurst Park. Spending more money on a shiny new forward is unlikely to help that process.