As a Crystal Palace fan, I was, to put it mildly, delighted when Kevin Phillips thrashed home a typically unerring penalty to secure promotion to the promised lands of the Premier League. While disappointed slightly to leave behind the Championship, I will enjoy the coming season and will remain an avid Championship follower.
For now, I want to discuss 5 signings which I think Palace should try and make to boost their squad. I doubt, financially and realistically, they’d be able to get them all if any, I’m just trying to show the level of ambition needed in the transfer window to stay above the dotted line.
1) Adam Le Fondre
I don’t really need to say a lot here. He’s proven. He’s lethal. He’s a possible future Kevin Phillips if a club takes a chance on him. And why not? He scores goals wherever he goes and Reading might well have got more points than they did if he played every game. In the absence of Glenn Murray, Palace need proven firepower, and a move for ALF would benefit everyone: Palace would have a void upfront filled and ALF would get the Premier League game time he craves and deserves. He should be one of the first players Ian Holloway signs.
2) Ben Davies
Palace’s problem position this season has been at full-back. Joel Ward has proven himself to be solid after returning from an injury lay-off, and when he has not played, either an off-form Jazz Richards or an out-of-position Kagisho Dikgacoi has deputised. On the opposite flank, Johnny Parr has been epic with his electrifying pace and brilliant early crossing, but defensively he has been shambolic, leaving him often on the bench while the safer option Dean Moxey has played. If Swansea were willing to negotiate for Ben Davies, it would be a coup. He has been excellent all season but may find himself out in the cold, what with Neil Taylor returning to fitness and Diego Tiendalli penning a fresh deal. Signing Davies would also allow Palace to develop Parr into a fully fledged winger to replace Wilfried Zaha, or at least cover for his absence.
3) Charlie Adam
Charlie Adam hasn’t had the greatest season at Stoke, but he will have been largely bypassed by their hoofball tactics. With QPR legend Mark Hughes incoming, I’m expecting a giant, ineffective shake-up, with many big, overrated names coming in and the old guard that served Tony Pulis moving on. Charlie Adam, for one, would be very wise to jump ship to play under Ian Holloway. They worked together at Blackpool, where Adam played some of his best football, and a renewed link-up may well be what he needs to relight that spark he once had. If that were to happen then Palace would have a very, very capable player on their books. The only issue would be the transfer fee and wages.
4) Shaun Maloney
Recently relegated Wigan are going to struggle to hold on to their more prized assets, and the most coveted of these will be Shaun Maloney. Him and Callum McManaman were the two shining lights in the season that finally saw them succumb to the drop, and out of the two Maloney is probably the one that Palace would require the most. Since Owen Garvan has returned to the team, he has lost some of that creativity that provided Palace with many of their goals at the start of the season, and they would be looking to reinstate that creativity by either working closely with Garvan to improve his ability on the ball and his range of passing, or by signing a player with genuine quality who would come at a relatively cheap price. The problem they would have is fending off other suitors for his signature.
5) Aiden McGeady
This is the one player I think Steve Parish should go all out to sign. A fast, tricky winger with two fantastic feet, McGeady is the ideal replacement for Zaha, and also (currently) a better player, so it would also be an improvement. Look at some of the things he does in the clip, and you’ll see that he’s pretty much a Zaha with an end product. He is currently plying his trade at Spartak Moscow, where hasn’t been playing a lot of football this season, so he could seek a Premier League move to play more regular football. Not to mention, it is Russia he plays in, a country that’s more famous for it’s controversy at football games than the actual games themselves. The only issue here is that he may want to move to a more established Premier League side as opposed to one recently promoted, as his ability would demand.
Of course, there are a slew of other options, such as Maynor Figueroa, Matt Kilgallon, Albert Adomah, Tom Ince, Matt Phillips and possible loans such as Nick Powell, Nathaniel Chalobah, Nathan Ake, and the possible re-return of Zaha, but I genuinely feel that these five players should be at the top of Holloway’s radar.
What do you think? Is there a player who you would expect, or would like to see, pulling on the red and blue jersey next season?