Crystal Palace need only look to QPR’s season in hell last term for reason not to sign want-away West Bromwich Albion striker Peter Odemwingie.
Now 32 years old, the Uzbekistan-born Nigerian hitman spent the second half of last season in the Hawthorns naughty corner, after resorting to all manner of public and private subterfuge in order to push through a January move to – you guessed it – Queens Park Rangers.
Signing post-30 senior pros with questionable motivations had already served to create a perfect storm of apathy at Loftus Road by that stage, thanks to a pre-season trolley dash that scooped the likes of Jose Bosingwa, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Bobby Zamora.
Palace arrive in the Premier League in dire need of striking reinforcements thanks to 30-goal top-scorer Glenn Murray’s injury in the 2012/13 play-off final, with only Aaron Wilbraham – whose career best spell was 50 goals in 178 games for MK Dons – in reserve.
Wilbraham’s profligacy in front of goal in the play-off final ought to have convinced Eagles’ string-puller Ian Holloway that bringing in a finisher was of the utmost importance and he’s already paid through the nose for Peterborough youngster Dwight Gayle.
The need for top-flight experience within the Selhurst Park strikers’ union remains, but whilst the Eagles have little Premier League pedigree within their ranks they do – as with most promoted sides– have a strong team spirit forged through the collective experience of the successes that got them to the promised land.
At QPR bringing in last-big-contract journeymen for whom the move was a step down had a negative effect on the squad as a collective and it showed that acquiring players of Odemwingie’s experience – who will likely command higher wages than many of the most long-serving Palace stalwarts – must be done with the utmost caution and concern for team morale.
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