Steve Parish missed the boat with Crystal Palace’s failed pursuit of CSKA Moscow striker Fedor Chalov after the Russians rejected a £14m bid for the centre-forward last year.
According to a report from Sky Sports at the time, Palace were among several Premier League clubs said to be interested in signing the Russia international in the summer of 2019, along with Monaco, Lazio and Valencia, having been impressed by the striker’s prolific top-flight form in the 2018/19 campaign.
Chalov burst onto the scene with 15 goals and 7 assists in 30 games in Premier Liga, whilst he also scored two goals in the Champions League that same season.
Following their futile attempts to sign Chalov last summer, his agent Christian Emile said: “Fedor is one of the most striking players in Europe, and the increased interest in him is completely justified.
“Especially from the side of one Premier League club, which made a significant offer, but CSKA refused to sell the player.
“The position of CSKA is completely understandable – they have serious goals, and Fedor is the most important player for them.”
It’s believed that Palace boss Roy Hodgson wanted to sign two centre-forwards, having identified the Russian as one of his top transfer targets, as well as then-Brentford striker Ollie Watkins. However, as we all know, Hodgson didn’t end up with either of those options, signing Jordan Ayew in the end instead, before bringing in Michy Batshuayi from Chelsea on a season-long loan deal on transfer deadline day this season.
Chalov has at times struggled for consistency so far this season, having scored two goals and supplied five assists in all competitions for his boyhood club, as a recurring knee injury has caused him several problems. However, he scored during the 2-0 win over Rostov before the international break, and has bagged two times and produced two assists in his past four games.
Per WhoScored, the 22-year-old has played 11 games in Premier Liga, scoring two goals and supplying four assists, whilst he is averaging 2.3 shots and 1.1 key passes per game.
By comparison, Batshuayi is barely managing one shot and just 0.2 key passes per game in the Premier League, via WhoScored, whilst he has failed to find the back of the net at Selhurst Park this season so far.
Pavel Koval, Chalov’s first coach at CSKA’s youth academy, once said his former charge “has everything a forward needs; speed, dribbling ability, a good scoring instinct – he has it all,” which is high praise indeed for someone who is still at the early stages of his career.
In Chalov, Parish could have added a natural goal threat in the middle of the pitch to the Palace first-team squad, who can also play as an attacking midfielder, whilst he still has room for improvement at the age of 22.
The £11.7m-rated sensation could’ve become a first-team regular starter for years to come if he had brought him to Selhurst Park and he was able to hit the ground running, although his statistics seem to indicate that he would’ve done this, given his impressive return for CSKA Moscow (41 goals in 139 games), as he has shown he can score goals at the top levels of the game.
However, his contract is set to expire in 2022, and it’s unlikely he will be short of potential suitors if/when the chance once again arises to sign him.
AND in other news, Crystal Palace got rid of Aaron Wan-Bissaka at the perfect time…