It’s been a while since Crystal Palace could lay claim to having one of the best players in the country on their books, hasn’t it?
Palace talisman Wilfried Zaha is, of course, worth a shout, whilst Eberechi Eze may not be too far behind his teammate after his heroics against Sheffield United, but other than that, it’s fair to say that Roy Hodgson has been left with slim pickings indeed.
However, things could have been very different for the Eagles as had Steve Parish simply plucked up the courage in the summer, they could have had arguably one of the best strikers in the EFL at Selhurst Park right now. And no, we’re not talking about Bournemouth striker Joshua King.
According to The Guardian’s Ben Fisher, Palace missed the opportunity to sign former Peterborough striker Ivan Toney back in 2020 as they lost out to Brentford.
The Bees paid a club-record fee of £9m plus performance-related bonuses to prise him away from the Posh, which isn’t exactly a huge amount of cash, especially when you consider the fact Palace spent £7m on Connor Wickham.
It’s easy to say with the benefit of hindsight, but if Parish had been brave enough to pull the trigger, they could have had an absolute goal machine on their hands.
Toney is easily one of the best strikers in the Championship, he’s the joint-leading goalscorer in the competition this season, and his ridiculous record speaks for itself – 16 goals in 26 appearances across all competitions, via Transfermarkt.
Posh director of football Barry Fry heaped praise on his former charge at the end of last season, saying: “Ivan has been an incredible signing. His improvement in two seasons with us has been remarkable.
“He was by far and away the best player in League One last season and he deserves a shot at the Championship or even the Premier League.”
Parish wouldn’t part ways with his money last year, and now just six months later, it looks like an inexcusable mistake as he’s turned out to be a true bargain for the Bees.