When Max Meyer signed for Crystal Palace on a free in the summer, the German was expected to light up the Premier League having been billed as one of the top young talents while he was at Schalke, although it hasn’t quite gone to plan.
The midfielder has made 14 starts, battling for chances with 31-year-old workhorse James McArthur and Jeffrey Schlupp, who was previously a left-back.
Taking Yohan Cabaye’s number 7 shirt upon his arrival at Selhurst Park, the diminutive Meyer was expected to fill the creative void left by the departing Frenchman, although he has been deployed largely as a wide midfielder by Roy Hodgson.
It’s clear that the 23-year-old isn’t suited in this role and would thrive as a number 10, although that would require a lot of changes to the starting XI, including the addition of £15m summer target, Che Adams.
Meyer thrives at finding pockets of space and his ability to operate in tight situations means he can skip away from a challenge or feed a teammate in behind with ease – that’s where Adams comes in.
The Birmingham striker, who has chalked up 22 goals in the Championship this season, has the pace and power to cause real damage off the shoulder, while Meyer has the ability to pick him out consistently. It seems like a perfect partnership.
For Meyer to have the aforementioned pockets of space, though, Hodgson must be bold and swap his wingers. Wilfried Zaha has been thriving on the left, while Andros Townsend’s ability to cut in from the opposite flank and onto his stronger left foot makes him a threat; swapping the dynamic duo around means that they will be less willing to come inside, thus freeing up space for Meyer.
There’s some exciting changes happening at Crystal Palace next summer. Find out what in the video below…
This switch would also mean Zaha, who is right-footed, feels more inclined to take on his man – something he is one of the Premier League’s best at doing. The back four remains the same, of course, while a scary pairing of Luka Milivojevic and Cheikhou Kouyate just in front will give Hodgson the legs and defensive security he requires.
What do you think of our XI, Palace fans? Is there anything you’d change? Let us know in the comments below!