Crystal Palace are showing an interest in signing CSKA Moscow striker Fedor Chalov, as has been reported by The Daily Star.
The Eagles failed to sign the 21-year-old last summer, having put in a £14m offer, but it seems as though they have not completely given up on bringing him to Selhurst Park.
He is now rated at £25m and Palace will face competition for his signature, as it is suggested that Brighton & Hove Albion, West Ham United and Chelsea have all enquired about signing the Russia international over the last year – though some interest has waned seeing as he only has six goals across all competitions this season.
Palace have not been put off at all though, with Dougie Freeman driving their interest in signing the striker when the summer transfer window comes around.
With this in mind, FFC writers have given their verdicts on whether Palace would be right to sign Chalov.
“What a major coup this would be. Chalov has seen his name linked with a whole host of top clubs in recent seasons, including fellow Premier League side Arsenal. It’s a measure of his enormous potential that the Gunners clearly saw him as someone to keep an eye on, and so a Palace swoop would be a major statement of intent.
“The Russian may not be in the most prolific of form this season with just six goals in 31 games across all competitions, but at just 21, has some considerable top-level experience. He has played numerous times in both the Champions League and Europa League, and that will only serve him well at Selhurst Park. Chalov could finally end Benteke’s Palace misery, with the Belgian scoring a measly 22 times in 111 games for the club.”
“Crystal Palace clearly need a new striker, but Chalov should not be that man. Yes, he had a good season last time out, scoring 15 goals in 30 Russian Premier League matches, but he has just five in 22 so far this term – there could be an accusation that he is something of a one-season wonder, and even that came in Russia – how would he adapt to the Premier League?
“Also, for a Crystal Palace side that has spent less than £20m in the two seasons, £25m would be a considerable amount – this could well turn into a unmitigated disaster from Freedman.”
“This is too risky for Palace. While it cannot be denied that Chalov would help bring the average age of the Eagles’ creaking squad down – he is only 21 years of age – he is far, far too unproven in Russian football let alone a top division to command a £25m fee.
“Admittedly, he had a fine season last term, netting 15 goals while also registering seven assists in just 30 league appearances, although he has failed to impress this time around with only five league goals in 22 league outings.
“The Eagles need young players and have to lower the average age of the squad, something that those at Selhurst Park are aware of according to The Athletic’s Dominic Fifield speaking on the HLTCO podcast. Having said that, there are better options.
“That £25m could go towards another target in Odsonne Edouard, a man with almost 50 goal involvements to his name this season. It could also be used to try and lure Ollie Watkins to Selhurst Park – the Brentford star has 22 Championship goals this term and was the subject of interest from the Eagles back in the summer.
“Chalov would’ve been a risk even after his 15-goal campaign – now, after netting just five times this term, he must be avoided.”
“This is fine, as long as they are making an impact and others chip in to cover their shortfall. Therefore, when Palace are looking to bring in another striker, they need to be as sure as can be reasonably possible that their new recruit will be able to score on at least a semi-regular basis.
“No matter how promising Chalov is, that simply isn’t the case with the Russian, when the number of goals he has notched this season is considered – especially in the league that he is playing in.
“There is a possibility that he could go on to be a star, making £25m look like an absolute steal, but Palace surely can’t risk him becoming an expensive flop at Selhurst Park.”