It’s being reported that only a medical examination stands in the way of Arsenal’s misfit Moroccan striker Marouane Chamakh joining the ranks of newly promoted Crystal Palace.
With his top scorer, Glenn Murray, sidelined for the first few months of the season it was always likely Eagles boss Ian Holloway would have to flesh out his skinny strike force if Palace were to survive in the Premier League in 2013/14.
However, rather than England striker Darren Bent arriving south of the Thames as many of a Palace persuasion were hoping, it’s a striker with a rather less impressive Premier League resume who has rocked up.
Whereas the capture of Bent may well have instigated a significant shift outwards in Palaces’ 8/15 tag for immediate relegation, 29-year-old Chamakh’s signature hardly looks likely to alter punters thinking after his ill-fated stint at Arsenal.
This is not to say Chamakh cannot have an impact at Selhurst Park, though they’ll be gaining a striker whose confidence levels are lower than most of the UK’s water ways at present, after a subsequent loan move to West Ham also went horribly wrong.
Now surplus to requirements at the Emirates it’s been a fairly inconceivable decline in the career of the man Arsenal signed from Bordeaux in the summer of 2010, but Holloway will be hoping he can help Chamakh conjure some misplaced magic – something both Arsene Wenger and Sam Allardyce have failed to do.
When Arsenal signed the Moroccan he was fast becoming one of the more sought after strikers in Europe, having fired Bordeaux to a French league and cup double in 2008/09 before catching the eye in the Champions League the following season.
In 2009/10 Chamakh netted five times in Europe’s premier competition, including goals in either leg of their eventual quarter-final defeat to rivals Lyon.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.