According to The Sun, Crystal Palace are set to sign Victor Moses in January for a fee of around £12m, meaning the Chelsea man will follow other top-six outcasts Mamadou Sakho and Christian Benteke to Selhurst Park – the former has been a resounding success, while the latter started strong but flopped soon after. Which path will Moses take?
Well, The Sun reports that the Nigerian will become the first casualty of Maurizio Sarri’s ruthless reign as Palace are expected to cough up the cash to bring him back to the club where he originally made his name.
The versatile winger has been afforded only 176 minutes of football this season as the former Napoli boss takes the helm, despite being a key player under previous manager Antonio Conte, who revived his career by converting him to a wing-back on the Blues’ way to winning the title in 2016/17.
However, the former Wigan man is neither a suitable right winger or right-back to slot into Sarri’s 4-3-3 – Willian and Pedro have the wings on lock while Cesar Azpilicueta is starting to develop into his new role on the outside of a back four. Palace are reportedly looking to offer him a lifeline in January, but is he what they need?
Simply put, no he is not what they need right now. Sure, the 28-year-old will work his socks off wherever he is played, but the Eagles already have an extremely well-balanced midfield bursting at the seams with industry, flair and technical ability, so this one just feels like a commercial move to reunite former player with former club.
Jeffrey Schlupp signed for Palace back in January 2017 and, despite chipping in with goals recently, is a good squad player to have but will surely not displace the likes of Max Meyer or Andros Townsend – particularly after the win over Manchester City at the weekend.
Admittedly, at £12m he may be a snip, especially with some of the prices flying around the market these days but one can’t help but feel that Roy Hodgson’s first priority should be to sign a top striker before looking elsewhere – wasting what little transfer budget they may have on a player who isn’t guaranteed to start doesn’t make an ounce of sense unless a hitman is already brought in.
Moses will surely not have the immense impact of Sakho, neither experience as dismal a downfall as that of Benteke, but will hardly be as decisive as to ensure Palace survive or fall through the trapdoor.