The Chalkboard: Have Palace been using Alexander Sorloth in the wrong position?

Alexander Sorloth departed Crystal Palace on loan in January having struggled for form at Selhurst Park and the Eagles have hardly missed him, with Michy Batshuayi chipping in with a couple of goals and Christian Benteke back to his best against Arsenal.

Any Palace fans who have been keeping an eye on the Norwegian’s loan stint at Gent will have noticed that he has been a successful signing for the Belgian outfit. Had Roy Hodgson been deploying the giant forward in the wrong position all this time?

On the chalkboard

Sorloth played just 173 minutes of Premier League football and failed to score for Palace before being shipped out three months ago, although he has found his shooting boots again across the channel it seems.

The 23-year-old has chalked up four goals and two assists in all competitions for Gent but hasn’t been doing it as a striker. Instead, the 6 ft 4 hitman has been deployed as a right winger and has clearly been reaping the rewards.

Naturally, his height and physicality mean he looks like a striker but, prior to his move to Palace and subsequent conversion to a centre-forward, the former Midtjylland man had been successful as a wide-man. Is this where Hodgson should be looking to use him when he returns ahead of the next campaign?

Big winger

The likes of Marko Arnautovic and Romelu Lukaku under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have proved that size is a huge asset on the wing and while Sorloth doesn’t have Wilfried Zaha’s dribbling or Andros Townsend’s shooting from range, he does have a bit of pace about him and his size would make him a nightmare for most Premier League full-backs.

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While the former England boss has come under some criticism for his management this season, he has shown that he isn’t afraid to patiently transform players into the type he needs – Jeffrey Schlupp has been converted into a central-midfielder and the aforementioned wing duo are now able to double as a strike partnership. It certainly seems worth a try, otherwise Sorloth will just end up being money down the drain.