Crystal Palace has survived yet another nervy season in the Premier League. Predicted to be competing in the mid-table, Roy Hodgson’s side fell somewhat short of expectations, but relegation never really seemed to be on the cards for the Croydon side.
Consistency away has been key to Palace’s season
Roy Hodgson’s side didn’t quite set the league alight this year, but neither did they slump in the way some fans expected. They consistently gained points throughout the campaign, with important wins such as a 3-2 away win at Manchester City offsetting the disappointing home form of the side.
In fact, Palace’s away form has been their most impressive, and important, feat this season. The days of ‘Fortress Selhurst’ seem to be numbered, with only relegated Huddersfield picking up fewer points (9) than Palace (20). Yet despite the abysmal form at home, Palace’s season was grounded on their superb away form, being the only side this season to gain more points on the road than at home. In fact, they have finished higher in the away form table than in the home form table for the last five seasons.
Player of the Season | Wan-Bissaka
Despite an uneventful season, a major positive to take away is the emergence of young English talent Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who was thrust from the Crystal Palace youth team and into the first eleven after a plague of injuries spread across the Club. He has since cemented his place as a first-choice right-back, featuring in 92% of Roy Hodgson’s starting lineups.
He was by far Palace’s standout talent this season and coupled with good attacking performances this year from Wilfried Zaha, Luke Millvojevic, Andros Townsend and January signing Michy Batshuayi helped to guarantee Palace’s status as a premier league club.
Touted for a £50 million summer transfer to either Manchester City or Manchester United, the England right-back may have already played his final game for the club.
Building for the 19/20 Season
A major problem for Roy Hodgson, beyond trying to keep Wan-Bissaka, Van Aanholt and Wilfried Zaha at the club will be trying to secure Chelsea loanee Michy Batshuayi on a permanent deal.
Chelsea, currently under a UEFA imposed transfer embargo will be unlikely to want to sell the Belgian striker, so may look to loan him out for another season, but despite this, Hodgson has been full of praise for the boisterous and talented forward.
Speaking after Palace’s 5-3 win over Bournemouth on the final day of the season he said: “All I know is if Michy Batshuayi is going to be available and if our club could bring him here; either on loan again or buying him I would be very happy with that and I know Michy himself would be happy.”