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Crystal Palace sign Mainz striker Jean-Philippe Mateta; spells bad news for Michy Batshuayi

Crystal Palace have completed the signing of Jean-Philippe Mateta from Mainz 05 on an 18-month loan with an option to buy, and it could be bad news for Michy Batshuayi.

What’s the word?

Mateta arrived in London for a medical last night ahead of a move worth up to £16m, with the initial loan costing £2.5m whilst the option to buy is worth a further £13.4m providing he starts 15 games in the Premier League.

The 23-year-old told the club’s website: “I’m very happy to come to Crystal Palace and I look forward to training.

“Playing in the Premier League was my dream when I was a child. Now I can play, I will show the fans of Crystal Palace what I can do.”

“We have followed Jean-Philippe’s development with keen interest for some time, and I’m so pleased that we have been able to bring him to south London,” said club chairman Steve Parish.

“He is a player that is full of potential with a proven goal-scoring record, and his signing reiterates our commitment to ensuring we have a well-balanced squad in terms of youth and experience for the seasons ahead.”

Bad news for Batshuayi

Mateta has impressed with his performances in the Bundesliga for Mainz, bagging 27 goals in 71 appearances across all competitions, including a hat-trick against SC Freiburg.

The Paris-born Frenchman has continued his prolific form since the start of this season, scoring seven goals in 15 top-flight games, resulting in a solid 6.72 average rating.

His arrival at Selhurst Park could spell trouble for Michy Batshuayi as it may have all but ended his hopes of joining Palace on a permanent basis in the summer.

Palace signed the Chelsea striker on loan until the end of the season, with the option to make his move permanent at the end of his loan spell, but he has been restricted to just four starts in the Premier League this season so far, with the last of his appearances coming off the bench in the 4-0 defeat to Manchester City.

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How much did Palace pay Liverpool for Christian Benteke in 2016?

It’s been nearly six months since the misfiring Batshuayi signed for Palace, and it’s fair to say that his second stint at Selhurst Park hasn’t quite worked out, having so far failed to find the back of the net for Hodgson’s side this season.

The 27-year-old, who is currently valued at £10m via Transfermarkt, has done little to justify such a hefty price-tag, and he may in fact cost even more if Palace wish to make his move permanent after he agreed a one-year contract extension with his parent club in the summer.

Should Mateta hit the ground running – and he has certainly shown that he should be able to do this, given his excellent goal return for Mainz – it’s hard to imagine Parish will want sanction such a move for Batshuayi, given his struggles in front of goal, as he may struggle to get a decent amount of game time under Hodgson as he already finds himself behind Jordan Ayew and Christian Benteke in the pecking order.

The Palace flop may in fact be forced to return to Chelsea with his tail between his legs instead.

AND in other news, Crystal Palace must avoid signing Fiorentina striker Christian Kouame in January

Article title: Crystal Palace sign Mainz striker Jean-Philippe Mateta; spells bad news for Michy Batshuayi

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