So, Crystal Palace have beaten Chelsea and Liverpool in their backyards, while also holding Manchester United to a draw. Alan ‘Pardiola’ Pardew is proving what a good manager he can be when he hasn’t got 50,000 screaming Geordies pummelling him with abuse, and his move to the Eagles less than a year ago has always seemed a natural fit.
However, they have suffered disappointing results like the recent reversal at home to Sunderland, as well as defeats to Leicester and West Ham. Granted those two teams have been high flyers this year, but the losses have exposed some of the holes within this otherwise exciting Eagles team.
Their transition has been astounding since the days of Ian Holloway and Neil Warnock. Of course, a solid period under Tony Pulis helped establish the south London outfit in between, but Pardew has taken the side to new levels.
The capture of Yohan Cabaye in the summer had fans purring. The club can now attract top talent, as proved with the capture of a French international who swapped nailed on trophies with European super club PSG to ply his trade at Selhurst Park.
With that in mind, the January transfer window will bring a unique kind of excitement. The New Year sales have historically been quite good to the Eagles, with the likes of Scott Dann, Pape Souare and Joe Ledley all arriving halfway through a season and becoming key players. Last season’s signing of Shola Ameobi aside.
Things are on the up for Palace, who have one of the most exciting attacks on the league. The trio of Wilfried Zaha, Jason Puncheon and Yannick Bolasie are wonderfully eccentric, and devastating on their day. They run defences ragged and force mistakes, as proved in the wins over Watford and West Brom in recent months.
However, the club arguably still lack a focal point up top as Fraizer Campbell, Dwight Gayle and Connor Wickham have so far struggled to convince their boss to afford them a regular starting berth.
So, all things considered – here are FIVE January transfers that may actually happen…
Andros Townsend has seemingly lost his place in Mauricio Pochettino’s new-look frontline at Spurs, and was recently spotted publicly arguing the Spurs fitness coach after a win over Aston Villa recently.
This, obviously, has led to speculation surrounding the 24-year old’s future in North London. He would appear to fit the mould at Palace, a wide man with the ability to cut inside and fire at goal both with urgency and efficiency.
Reports suggest Spurs will try and offload the England star in an attempt to lure Yannick Bolasie to White Hart Lane. Seems unlikely that Palace would sell their prized asset at just the halfway point, though gaining Townsend in return could make a potential deal more likely.
Alternatively, the club have been linked with making an £8m for the former QPR loan star, so the player is clearly on the radar whether it involves losing Bolasie or not.
Dwight Gayle, who looked set to leave this summer, could be on the verge of a move to Norwich City. The Canaries are thought to be readying an £11m bid in order to land the 25-year-old, who is currently out with a hamstring injury.
The former Peterborough star arrived in 2013, and has been a good servant to the Eagles. However, the thought at selling him on for a huge profit is surely tempting for a player who is barely guaranteed a place in the starting line-up.
Any sale could generate a sizeable chunk of a fund to find a more effective replacement, someone who can seriously challenge for a starting spot regularly and provide more of a focal point up top.
Another striker who could leave, in the shape of Patrick Bamford. The on loan Chelsea star recently revealed he has an exit clause in his loan deal at Selhurst Park, after failing to break the first team.
Linked with redirecting his loan spell at the opposite end of the country, in a return to Middlesbrough, the 22-year-old looks all but certain to leave. A shame really, but clearly Pardew does not see enough in him to regularly afford him a starting berth.
The Bamford experiment has not worked out as hoped, and both the Young Lion and the club can learn from the experience. Though, as mentioned, Palace are barely flush with traditional centre forwards, neither party will be too disheartened by the departure.
Reports suggest the South London outfit have turned their attention to Sporting Lisbon star Islam Slimani in an effort to boost their goal return ahead of the January window.
The Algerian international has had a blistering start to the season, netting an impressive eight times in just twelve games for the Portuguese giants. Circulating reports have suggested that the Eagles have seen an £8.8m bid rejected for the 27-year-old forward.
Sporting are said to be holding out for £14m in order to prize their star striker away, which would smash the club record fee shelled out for Cabaye. However, Pardew recently hinted at the prospect of a cash injection from the club’s new American co-owners.
The interest is clear, and the Algeria international is proving to be lethal in front of goal. Perhaps the arrival of new investors can help bring the player to Selhurst Park.
Amid the dearth of effective centre-forwards, one particular goal scorer catching the eye in Europe has reportedly talked up his desire to play in the Premier League, amid interest from Palace.
Oostende forward Gohi Bi Zoro Cyriac is the top scorer in the Belgian league, netting ten times in just fifteen appearances for the side. The 25-year-old is understood to be keen on a move to England in order to emulate ‘father figure’ Didier Drogba.
When quizzed on reported interest from the Eagles, as well as London rivals West Ham, the Ivory Coast international stated, ‘I am happy about that. I like those clubs’
“I like the Premier League a lot.”
Potentially a cheaper option than some of the other forwards linked, the Ivorian is certainly doing his bit to earn a move to England with some fine form.