Crystal Palace are having a quiet transfer window so far, with their team currently intact for the challenges of the second half of the season as Patrick Vieira attempts to compete for a top-half finish, but with three weeks left until the window closes, they could be about to lose one of their players.
Journalist, Tom Barclay, has given his perspective on the current loan situation that Jean-Philippe Mateta finds himself in at Crystal Palace, and it doesn’t look like it’s good news for Palace.
Barclay told GIVEMESPORT:
“I know Mateta scored the other day, but unless he goes on an incredible run, I’m not convinced that Vieira is convinced by him, so I’m expecting him to return from his loan rather than Palace sign him permanently.”
Mateta was acquired on loan by the London club after he was putting in impressive performances for his parent club Mainz at the beginning of last season, with ten goals and one assist that had caught former Palace manager, Roy Hodgson’s eye, who signed the 24-year-old on an 18-month loan with the club last January.
Vieira is clearly not convinced by the Frenchman’s performances so far in his presence since joining the club as head coach in the summer, and has only given Mateta two Premier League starts this season.
With rumours that the loan could be cut short fans have taken to social media to slam the potential decision to let him return five months early to his Bundesliga club. One supporter tweeted:
“I think we should just keep Mateta and forget about Nketiah and keep the money for positions that need improvements.”
The 30k-per-week star put in a fantastic performance against Milwall at the weekend in the FA Cup game, where in the 54 minutes played he scored the winning goal in the 58th minute to beat their rivals 2-1, as well as offering up some clinical play, with a fantastic pass accuracy of 93% during his opportunity for minutes on the pitch, according to SofaScore.
As a result, it seems perplexing that just as he begins to find form, he’s set to head back to his parent club.
Indeed, the supporter above makes a valid point that money on a potential successor could be better spent on other areas of the team that need improving, including the full-back areas where they are strapped for depth.
Although he’s not impressed since landing in London, fans could be concerned by the ongoing situation surrounding Mateta. After all, they’d just be losing a player and then having to fork out what could be quite a considerable sum to find a replacement.
The French manager has a big decision to make in a short amount of time on the future of his 24-year-old forward, as Saint Etienne are rumoured to be interested in swooping to offer him a loan deal this January.
With Palace linked to signing Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah, Vieira clearly needs to make a quick decision on how he intends to see out the strike force of the side for the rest of the season.