After initially taking Jason Puncheon on loan from Southampton under Ian Holloway, Crystal Palace – who had since seen the former Blackpool manager depart and be replaced by Tony Pulis – decided to turn the deal permanent for £1.75m.
The London-born midfielder impressed in his first season as an Eagle, scoring seven Premier League goals including some crucial winners against Aston Villa, Hull and Stoke to ensure that the south Londoners survived a Premier League campaign for the first time in their history.
However, Puncheon continued to outdo himself year on year to make that initial £1.75m investment feel like an absolute bargain.
The ex-Millwall man spent many more years at Selhurst Park, eventually staying until 2019 having racked up 169 appearances in a Crystal Palace shirt – more than he managed at any of his other nine clubs.
If you were to divide Puncheon’s transfer fee by his total amount of appearances, you would discover that he has cost the Eagles just £10.4k per game, making him a shrewd investment by the club and an excellent piece of business from Pulis.
The 33-year-old was even handed the captain’s armband by Sam Allardyce, proving himself to be a leader in SE25 and also a scorer of some huge goals.
It was Puncheon’s exquisitely curled strike against Norwich which effectively confirmed survival in the 2015/16 campaign, coming just weeks before he scored in an FA Cup final for the Eagles against Manchester United – sadly, Palace couldn’t see the win out against Louis van Gaal’s men.
His farewell was met with a warm tribute on Crystal Palace’s official website, where club chairman Steve Parish also had some kind words for the man who achieved so much at Selhurst Park.
He would’ve been a great signing had he cost £10m, so to secure his signature for just under £2m makes Puncheon one of the biggest bargains in Crystal Palace’s recent history.
In other news, this talented player has robbed Steve Parish of £15.55m…