Following reports that Brighton’s Jurgen Locadia is unhappy with his game-time this season, Crystal Palace should consider a cheeky January approach to bolster their forward line.
The 25-year-old joined the Seagulls from PSV Eindhoven in January as Chris Hughton looked to ensure his side’s survival in the Premier League but, despite netting against Swansea in the league and Coventry in the FA Cup, he failed to hold down a starting spot after recovering from injury and feels he has not been afforded an opportunity to prove himself since.
Speaking to De Telegraaf, the Dutchman said “In my opinion, I never had the chance to show what I am worth. I think winter is a good time to think if this is still good for me”.
“In the summer a departure from Brighton was not an option, although there was interest from beautiful clubs. Then I agreed with my agent to look at the situation in the winter. Soon there will be a conversation”.
These words strongly point to an exit in the New Year and Crystal Palace would be smart to make a cheeky attempt to prise the striker away from their rivals.
Crystal Palace have yet to score from open play at home in the league this season and, as they slog their way through a tough run of fixtures, could find themselves in the bottom three by December.
Both the reliance on Wilfried Zaha and the lack of quality up front was clear to see as the Eagles were narrowly beaten by Tottenham on Sunday in his absence, as the forwards offered little on the counter and Alexander Sorloth missed a golden chance to equalise at the death.
Roy Hodgson will reportedly be backed in the January transfer window as the Croydon side look to avoid another relegation dog-fight, and Locadia could be a shrewd bit of business.
The powerful 6ft 1in hitman is capable of playing down the middle or on either wing and this versatility could be key to a deal going across the line.
Hodgson’s tendency to play wingers up front allows for fluid movement in which either ‘striker’ can drift out wide but, at times, Zaha and Andros Townsend can look isolated up front as there is a significant lack of a focal point for the two speedsters to bounce off.
Christian Benteke would usually be on hand, but the big Belgian is both injured and enduring a two-season-long goal drought – Locadia could provide that presence but with a cutting edge to boot as he chalked up nine goals and six assists in the Eredivisie before his switch across the channel.
Valued at £13.5m by Transfermarkt, a move for the right-footer would represent good value for money in today’s market if he could be purchased for that fee.
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