Palace preparing for European assault judging by transfer frenzy
Taking the temperature of Crystal Palace’s transfer dealings this summer, the mercury is bubbling down at Selhurst Park.
Alan Pardew has shown no lack of ambition with a series of audacious bids interspersed with some notable arrivals in south London by early July.
England winger Andros Townsend was the first through the door for a touch under £14m, while hardly enough homage has been paid to the coup that is signing France international goalkeeper Steve Mandanda for £1.5m from Marseille.
Conspiracy theorists might suggest that the daring £31.5m bid for Mandanda’s teammate Michy Batshuayi – which preceded the stopper’s arrival – might have been part of a preordained agreement to kick-start a bidding war for the Belgian hotshot.
Although Chelsea duly obliged by lining Marseille’s pockets to the tune of £33m for the striker’s services, a subsequent series of bids for Liverpool striker Christian Benteke, suggests Palace weren’t simply dangling their feet in speculatively.
Having lodged a rejected £25m bid for Benteke, fresh reports say Palace’s revised offer falls just a million or so short of the £32.5m the Reds paid Aston Villa around 12 months earlier.
While Liverpool mull that over (why don’t they just snap Pardew’s arm off?!), West Ham defender James Tomkins has also signed up for a cross-capital switch to Selhurst Park for £10m.
It would appear the cocktail of FA Cup final heartbreak and an extremely precarious post-Christmas Premier League slump has left Pardew with a bitter taste in his mouth regarding the conclusion of 2015/16.
As their deep run in the cup shows, Palace are a squad full of talented players though up front in particularly, they were found sorely lacking in a miserable second half of their Premier League campaign.
Only five teams sat higher in the table than Pardew’s Eagles by Christmas last year, before they conspired to wind up 15th.
Fresh American investment back in December and the TV windfalls set to benefit all top-flight clubs this summer, could be the catalyst for a more sustained push towards Europe, off the back of an unprecedented spending spree.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.