The criticism levelled at Crystal Palace last season is the same one that has been thrown at them this time around; the fact there is a definite shortage of goals in their side.
Alan Pardew may have brought in new faces this summer but they are still very much lacking a striker who consistently knows his way around the six yard box. Last season saw the good; their form early in the season which saw them as high as 6th. The bad; their form post-Christmas. And the ugly; Alan Pardew’s dancing at Wembley.
If Palace are to beat the drop and not replicate that terrible run of form in 2016, then getting in a striker before the end of the month has to be the top priority for Pardew.
Here are three players that could be wearing a Palace shirt by the start of September.
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The £32.5m man was nowhere to been seen on Sunday at the Emirates as Liverpool got the better of a seven-goal thriller against Arsenal. This should surely indicate that Benteke’s time at Anfield is coming to an end.
The question Liverpool will have to ask is how much are they prepared to lose on their investment. Bought by Brendan Rodgers just over 12 months ago, it’s clear to see that a player of Benteke’s mould doesn’t fit into a Jurgen Klopp team. A square peg in a round hole if ever there was one.
Luckily for Liverpool though, with the transfer market being the way it is, they will probably manage to recoup all the fee they paid Aston Villa should they decide to move Benteke on.
What will also go in Liverpool’s favour is the fact that Palace are getting somewhat desperate, and with desperation brings an increase in price. Liverpool want to sell and Palace also have the funds, but it seems they can’t quite meet the valuation for Benteke which would allow him to leave Merseyside. Should Alan Pardew come in with an approved offer the move could very much be on.
Crystal Palace are now joining an ever-growing band of Premier League clubs who are interested in acquiring the services of the England U-21 international. Berahino was in the starting line-up on Saturday, playing off Salomon Rondon when West Brom travelled to Selhurst Park, and it was Rondon who scored the game’s only goal to give Tony Pulis a triumphant return to south London.
Last season, with his future at the club in doubt, Berahino had to make do with a life more accustomed to the West Brom bench. And although he was in the line-up in their opener, Pulis bringing in another new face up front could very well marginalise Berahino’s role at the club even further. That’s where Palace could step in and offer him the lifeline of first team football.
Berahino must now be ruing the fact that he wasn’t allowed to move to Tottenham last summer – his stock has fallen in those twelve months or so. He needs to be back playing regularly and scoring goals or the potential he once showed is in danger of fizzling out.
Had Sahko’s move from West Ham to West Brom not collapsed due to a failed medical then he very well could have been the man to allow to Berahino to depart The Hawthorns. Crystal Palace, in that case, could do worse then buying the Senegalese striker themselves.
At £16m he may not represent fantastic value but Palace can’t afford to be too choosy in their bid to snare a new forward before the end of the month. It could also be an easy sell as Sahko would only have to make the short trip across London to link up with Alan Pardew.
The thing that could very much go against Sahko and any potential transfer is the aforementioned failed medical, but if Palace are prepared to take a punt then it could be something that they could use in their favour by potentially driving the price down.
West Ham know they have somewhat of a lame duck on their books now, not only is it a player who isn’t Slaven Bilic’s plans but also one potentially lacking fitness, so they may have to reconsider the fee of £16m if he is to leave the London Stadium and Palace could benefit, although it would be somewhat of a gamble and one that Alan Pardew would really need to pay off.