With the transfer window shutting on October 5, it is time to analyse the business that Crystal Palace have made for the current season.
Eberechi Eze – QPR, £20m
Without doubt Palace’s biggest coup of the summer was the arrival of Eberechi Eze from London neighbours QPR, who has flourished playing in the Championship in the past two seasons.
In particular, he shone last season in a struggling Ranger’s side scoring an impressive 14 goals in 46 league games from attacking midfield.
The 22-year-old obviously has undoubted potential and technical ability but it remains to be seen whether he can cut it at the highest level, however, there is definitely cause for Palace fans to be excited.
Nathan Ferguson – West Bromwich Albion, Free
Palace’s first acquisition of the summer, and probably the one which went most under the radar was the signing of young English right-back Nathan Ferguson.
Ferguson only made his debut last season, helping the Baggies gain promotion to the Premier League, making 21 appearances before making the move down south to Palace.
His injury has prevented him from making his Palace debut thus far, however, he will be looking to challenge Joel Ward for a starting place once he returns.
Michy Batshuayi – Chelsea, Loan
Michy Batshuayi is no stranger to the Selhurst Park faithful, previously playing for the club after joining on loan from Chelsea during the 2018/19 January transfer window and scoring five goals in 11 appearances.
The striker from Belgium could argue he has never got a fair crack of the whip at the Blues, struggling to nail down a regular starting place during his four years at Stamford Bridge.
Still, he has demonstrated in the past that he is capable of scoring important goals and it will be interesting to see how he fairs in a full season with the Eagles who will be looking for him to provide an added attacking threat.
Nathaniel Clyne – Free Agent
Palace fans will be feeling a sense of nostalgia after seeing the return of former player Nathaniel Clyne, with the right-back making the move back to the team where he started out as a young boy and made a name for himself.
With 171 appearances in the top flight for Southampton, Liverpool and Bournemouth; Clyne has demonstrated over previous seasons that he is capable of performing at an exceptional level.
However, a long-term injury has hindered his progress in recent years, with Clyne making only 21 appearances in the last three seasons combined.
Although, at just 29, Clyne will be looking to recapture his form at his boyhood club and it is definitely a risk worth taking, with no fee attached following his release from Liverpool.
Jack Butland – Stoke City, £1 million
The end of the EFL transfer window on 16th October saw Palace secure the signing of England international goalkeeper Jack Butland on a three-year contract, with the deal being completed just before the deadline.
Butland has endured a turbulent past few seasons with Stoke, since their relegation from the Premier League in 2018 and his form has significantly dipped since.
Although, a fresh challenge and opportunity now awaits the 27 year-old, who will be looking to push Vicente Guaita for a starting berth.
Previously tipped to be a future England number one goalkeeper a few years ago, Butland will be hoping this move will try and force him back into England manager Gareth Southgate’s plans.
Alexander Sorloth – RB Leipzig, £18m
The Norwegian never hit the ground running at Palace, failing to score once in his 16 appearances in the top flight.
However, last season out on loan with Turkish side Trabzonspor he showed how clinical he can be in front of goal as he scored 24 goals in just 34 appearances, which also made him the league’s top scorer.
Perhaps, after such an excellent season some may have wondered whether Palace should have given him another chance to excel in the league and they may regret cashing in on him if he proves to be a success at German giants RB Leipzig.
Jaroslaw Jach – Fortuna Sittard, Loan
Since joining Crystal Palace in January 2018, Jaroslaw Jach only made his debut this season in the EFL cup loss to Bournemouth, so it will be no surprise to Palace fans to see him go out on his fourth loan since he joined the club.
Seemingly deemed surplus to requirements by manager Roy Hodgson, Jach’s departure will not be a major loss for Palace as they have more than enough experienced cover at centre-back, though Jach himself may feel like he has never been given an opportunity to show what he is capable of at the highest level.
Overall it has been a fairly low-key transfer window for the Eagles, with five major incomings and two outgoings.
The signature of Eze was shrewd business as he is definitely an exciting prospect, while the arrival of Batshuayi should help a team which struggles for goals, demonstrated by the fact that they scored the second least amount of goals (31) last season, with only relegated Norwich scoring less.
The additions of Ferguson and Clyne give them sufficient cover in a position where they looked slightly weak.
The deadline day signing of Butland seems like a fairly low-risk option at only £1 million and he should provide adequate cover for the injured Wayne Hennessey.
However, some Palace fans may feel slightly sceptical about their business, they have an ageing squad and some more young fresh players could have strengthened and enabled them to progress even further.
Despite not investing as heavily as other clubs, it appears that Hodgson is content with the team he has at his disposal currently.
Speaking after the 4-0 loss to Chelsea on 3rd October, Hodgson said: ”It’s not something we are desperately seeking at this moment in time. We think our squad is pretty much the squad that can see us through this season.”
Although, their most significant and important business of the window could be retaining the services of star man Wilfried Zaha for at least another season.
The forward is essential to this Palace team, he is the talisman, the leader and most of their attacks revolve around him, thus Palace fans will be heavily relieved that he didn’t leave.
It was pivotal that they kept hold of him for another season, as without him they may struggle.