Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend has been linked with a move to Turkish giants Besiktas, with his contract set to expire over the coming months.
What’s the story?
According to Turkish newspaper Takvim (via Sport Witness), the reigning Super Lig champions are keen to bring in the 29-year-old if they’re unable to re-sign Leicester City loanee Rachid Ghezzal.
The Alergia international was instrumental as Sergen Yalcin’s men pulled off a domestic double, bagging eight goals and providing 17 assists in 31 league appearances, but his standout displays have attracted interest from across the continent.
Fans will be gutted
It’s set to be a summer of upheaval at Selhurst Park as Roy Hodgson’s successor takes on the unenviable task of overseeing a major squad rebuild.
Key players such as Gary Cahill, Christian Benteke and Patrick van Aanholt are in a similar position to Townsend in terms of their contract situation, while serious injuries to Eberechi Eze and Nathan Ferguson have only complicated matters further.
While Townsend may not have grabbed the headlines on a regular basis throughout his time with the Eagles, scoring just 16 goals in 185 outings for the capital club, the former England international remains an important figure in the Palace first team.
Only Eze bettered his total of five Premier League assists throughout 2020/21, with the youngster also the only member of the south London outfits squad to provide more than Townsend’s 1.2 key passes per game.
The former Tottenham Hotspur man, who earns £55,000-per-week on his Palace contract, has made a living out of running directly at the opposition’s full-back, usually resulting in a rather speculative shot or a decent cross for a teammate, and last season’s statistics show he’s still excelling at his relatively simple game.
It’s clear, therefore, that the pacey winger is still a pivotal part of the south London outfits set-up, and his presence would be a big bonus to whoever replaces the departing Hodgson this summer. Palace fans will likely be gutted if he does depart for Turkey.