If reports are to be believed, Jean-Philippe Mateta could be lined up for a more prominent role at Crystal Palace next season.
The Frenchman has been somewhat starved of first-team football since joining the Eagles from Bundesliga outfit Mainz 05 in January on an 18-month loan deal, with the likes of Christian Benteke and Jordan Ayew preferred by manager Roy Hodgson.
However, with the Belgian striker out of contract at the end of the season and apparently interesting Turkish side Galatasaray according to Fanatik, Mateta could finally stake a claim for a more regular starting berth.
So far this season, Benteke has been one of the Eagles more reliable attackers.
For context, since Mateta arrived at Selhurst Park, he has been afforded just two starts in the league, with his action totalling approximately 170 minutes. He has been left on the bench as an unused substitute in five matches.
However, should Benteke leave, this would shoot the £13.5m-rated striker considerably up the pecking order, especially with Michy Batshuayi set to return to Chelsea and Connor Wickham’s contract also coming to an end.
With just Jordan Ayew then left to vie with for a starting-berth up-front, it is certainly a fantastic opportunity for Mateta to become Palace’s first-choice striker and display some of the form that saw him hit seven goals in the Bundesliga prior to his temporary switch to Selhurst Park.
Praised as an “athlete” by boss Hodgson following his arrival at Crystal Palace, Mateta could now be set to find a more prominent position on the Eagles’ podium once Benteke is eventually allowed to leave the club by Steve Parish.
AND in more news, take a look at what a former Crystal Palace flop is up to now…