The upcoming summer is crucial for Crystal Palace and a number of key players at the club.
As many as 16 first-team players are out of contract at the end of the season, as well as manager Roy Hodgson, leaving the Premier League outfit in deep uncertainty.
One of those out-of-contract players Andros Townsend has revealed that a “decision” is set to be made in the summer but Palace must start getting organised now or risk a chaotic 2021/22.
It is extremely rare for a club to let so many of their key players get so close to the end of their contract.
Whilst some are naturally going to be released after a frustrating spell at Selhurst Park such as Connor Wickham and Stephen Henderson, there are also a few club stalwarts on the list including Townsend, Gary Cahill, Patrick van Aanholt, Joel Ward and many more.
It all means that the Eagles could be set to lose as many as 16 of their current 28-man senior squad, approximately 58%.
For context, just the 12 remaining players would only just be enough for the club to field an 11-man team, as well as have a reserve goalkeeper on the bench. That would be simply unfeasible for a Premier League club.
It could be argued that due to the financial constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is tough to renew contracts at the current time, and to some respect that is true. However, the fact that the Eagles would have to dip into the transfer market to replace those players is surely far more of a costly commitment.
Nevertheless, without a definitive decision on which players actually need replacing, it would surely be even more difficult for the club’s recruitment department to properly start their summer work.
One alternative solution could be to promote as the club has done in recent years with the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Tyrick Mitchell but once again, it might be far too much expectation to shoulder that much responsibility on the club’s youngsters so early.
Steve Parish and his Crystal Palace hierarchy though can relieve considerable uncertainty for everyone by making decisions on those expiring contracts earlier than the summer.
AND in more news, take a look at which Stoke City star the Eagles could swoop for…