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Crystal Palace set to swoop for Primeira Liga hotshot

| 26.11.2015

Crystal Palace’s hunt for striking reinforcements has now branched out to Portugal where Sporting Lisbon forward Islam Slimani is the object of their intrigue.

Palace have scored just 14 goals so far this season – the same number as two of the three teams currently in the relegation zone – with midfielder Yohan Cabaye top scoring with four.

While the likes of Yannick Bolasie (two) and Bakary Sako (two) have chipped in, not one of the strikers on Palace’s books has found the net in the league.

Patrick Bamford, Fraizer Campbell, Dwight Gayle and Connor Wickham have all played at least four games without netting, while forgotten man Marouane Chamakh also failed to convert during his only appearance of the season.

This sorry state of affairs means Pardew is likely to splash some cash in the January transfer window in a bid to boost his side’s chances of securing a top 10 finish.

Slimani is thought to be valued at around £14m and while that would be a more expensive option than the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor or Charlie Austin – both linked with the Eagles in recent weeks – a continuation of his Sporting form could make Slimani the value candidate.

The 27-year-old signed for Sporting back in 2013 and after one appearance for the B team was promoted to the first XI, where a return of 27 goals in 57 league games has made him one the division’s hottest properties.

A winner of the Taca de Portugal and Supertaca Candido de Oliveira with Sporting last season, Slimani would bring an air of confidence to Selhurst Park that has clearly been lacking in the final third of the pitch.

Palace face Newcastle at home this weekend and despite their misfiring forwards’ poor form they go into the game as 8/11 favourites.

With the Magpies shipping three goals at home to Leicester last weekend Pardew will see this as an opportunity for his strikers to prove their worth. Struggle again and their chances of retaining their place in the New Year will look slim!

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.