Crystal Palace have been handed a major transfer boost in their pursuit of Jean-Philippe Mateta after Rouven Schroder said he’s open to selling the Mainz striker.
Speaking to Bild, the Mainz sporting director has told the German publication that he will consider selling the former France U21 international if the right offer arrives in January.
But Palace chairman Steve Parish must surely consider a return with a new and improved bid when the winter transfer window opens in just a few weeks time.
Having torn his meniscus last year, which ruled him out of action for 131 days, Mateta was determined to make amends, and it’s fair to say that he has barely put a foot wrong this season so far.
In eight appearances in the Bundesliga, the 23-year-old has scored seven goals and supplied an assist, whilst he is averaging 2.5 shots, 1.1 key passes and at least one dribble per game, via WhoScored.
It goes without saying that the last time Michy Batshuayi scored for Palace was when he bagged a brace against Bournemouth during his first loan spell at Selhurst Park back in 2019.
Batshuayi missed a golden chance to spare Hodgson’s blushes as the Eagles were beaten by Burnley at Turf Moor on Monday night.
By comparison, Mateta has been in red-hot form in Germany, as he can’t seem to stop scoring at the moment, having scored his first hat-trick of the season as Mainz cruised to a comfortable 3-1 win over Freiburg in the Bundesliga at the weekend.
Palace already have several strikers on their books, including Jordan Ayew, Christian Benteke and Connor Wickham, but the Frenchman would be a real upgrade on most if not all of the aforementioned options available.
Whilst both Mateta and Batshuayi have averaged similar numbers in terms of the amount of times they have been dispossessed this season, the Mainz striker is consistently outshining the Belgium international in regards to their goal-to-game ratio.
The £30k-a-week Mateta could be a natural goal threat for Palace in the middle of the pitch, whilst he would also be able to offer them more in terms of his attacking output overall, as he has shown that his all-round game is good as he can create chances for others whilst getting on the scoresheet himself.
AND in other news, Crystal Palace striker Michy Batshuayi massively let Hodgson down vs Burnley…