Crystal Palace have considered appointing former Arsenal midfielder Freddie Ljungberg as Roy Hodgson’s successor this summer.
The former England boss announced his upcoming exit from the south London outfit earlier in the week after enjoying a relatively successful four-year stint at Selhurst Park.
Hodgson has overseen a string of mid-table finishes throughout his tenure with Palace, but it’s set to be a frenzied few months for the Eagles following his departure.
Over a dozen first-team players are approaching the end of their current contracts with the capital club, with left-back Patrick van Aanholt expected to be the first to follow Hodgson out the exit door.
It’s going to be a summer of upheaval for Palace chairman Steve Parish, therefore, and the 55-year-old would be digging his own grave in appointing someone as inexperienced as Ljungberg to help him oversee this transitional period.
The Swedish boss only has a handful of senior games under his belt as a manager, all coming during an unsuccessful spell as Arsenal’s interim head coach following Unai Emery’s sacking.
Ljungberg oversaw six matches in the Gunners dugout, with a solitary win over West Ham United offsetting draws with Standard Liege, Norwich City and Everton, and defeats to Manchester City and Brighton.
Despite this poor record giving the 44-year-old a miserly 16.67% win rate as a Premier League boss, Sky Sports are reporting that Parish is potentially interested in hiring the former Arsenal youth coach as he searches for a boss who can bring a new progressive identity, attacking football and a history of developing young talent to Palace.
However, taking a punt on Ljungberg is a decision that the Palace chairman may come to regret. In an interview with Sky Sports, he admitted the club have a plan ahead of the upcoming window but that it’s an unpredictable market, given the impact of the ongoing pandemic.
“We have a plan, executing it is never and easy as we would like it to be. It’s going to be a difficult market this summer. As we move through the summer, there might be keener sellers, I’m expecting less movement,” he said.
“Some clubs can spend whatever happens, for most of us, that is not the case. What are the right wages, what is the right price? It will be difficult for people to find the level; there will be some confusion.”
By Parish’s own admission the coming months are set to be testing for the south London outfit, and appointing a manager with only half a dozen senior games under his belt in the dugout is a far from advisable strategy as in this of all years, it seems like having a more experienced manager in terms of acting in the transfer market would be much more beneficial.