This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Crystal Palace completed the signing of Victor Camarasa from Real Betis on Wednesday, but the announcement was preceded by a confusing tweet from BBC Sport journalist David Ornstein, who said that Eagles manager Roy Hodgson plans to use him out wide.
Hodgson is keen to use Camarasa in a wide position whereas McCarthy will obviously operate centrally – so two midfielders are on their way into Crystal Palace before the window closes at 5pm tomorrow #CPFC https://t.co/sW2I1CRWYC
— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) August 7, 2019
Out of the 145 games Transfermarkt have recorded the Spaniard’s position for during his career, only 11 of his appearances have come on either the left or right of the midfield, with the remaining 134 through the middle.
That said, of his 33 appearances in all competitions on loan at Cardiff City last season, seven of those came from the right-hand side as Bluebirds boss Neil Warnock obviously saw that he could do a job there when required.
By the sounds of it Hodgson plans to use him there far more regularly, however.
Given the Eagles currently have James McArthur, James McCarthy, Luka Milivojevic and Cheikhou Kouyate already battling for a spot in the middle, there doesn’t appear to be much space for another central player in Camarasa.
While four of his five goals and three of his four assists for the Welsh club in 2018/19 came from playing in a central position, the 25-year-old did also provide a goal and an assist from the right, too.
Camarasa may not be the most experienced in that role, but he does have some attributes that allow him to make an impact there.
For example, he successfully completed 1.1 dribbles per game for Cardiff in the Premier League last season according to WhoScored, as well as making 1.6 key passes.
Interestingly enough he also averaged 1.3 crosses per outing too, which is obviously one of the main traits required as a wide player.
It remains to be seen whether Camarasa would be used on the wing in all of Hodgson’s preferred 4-3-3, 4-2-2-2 and 4-4-2 formations he used last season, but he also faces some tough competition from the likes of Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha, providing the latter doesn’t move abroad in the next few weeks having failed to secure the exit he wanted to another English club.
It is by no means a plan that is guaranteed to be a success, but he the Spaniard can be trusted and it certainly gives Hodgson an interesting option on the eve of the 2019/20 campaign.