Crystal Palace are in the hunt for Russian sensation Fyodor Chalov after the 21-year-old scored 17 goals for CSKA Moscow last term, according to reports.
Championat in Russia (via Sports Witness) suggests that Palace are looking around Europe to solve their striker woes since Michy Batshuayi returned to Chelsea after a successful loan spell at Selhurst Park, scoring five in 11.
Chalov – who has been linked with Arsenal and Monaco in the past, per the report – won the Russian Premier League Golden Boot last season, registering 15 goals in the league, and scoring 17 goals in 37 games last year (Sport Witness).
It’s suggested by Championat that Palace are prepared to offer around €15m (roughly £13.7m) for the Russian international.
Considering that the only established strikers they have in the squad currently are Christian Benteke, Jordan Ayew, Connor Wickham and Alexander Sorloth, who between them only have two goals over the last league campaign, the Chalov rumours shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.
With Benteke struggling with injuries in the last campaign, it is really important Palace have another striker who can score goals in the Premier League, as well as have the ability to bring Palace’s more threatening players into the game, such as Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha.
According to a scout report from Total Football Analysis, Chalov provides a lot of qualities that could suit Palace’s game. He has been noted as a clinical finisher – something which Palace have been missing since Benteke’s opening season at the club, where he scored 15 goals in the Premier League (Transfermarkt). Also, his link-up play has been noted, with the report explaining his ability at coming short as well as getting in behind.
Indeed, that kind of link-up play could be good to get the aforementioned wingers (who were Palace’s main goal threats from open play last season) and, as per WhoScored, he’s currently averaging 2.3 key passes per game in the Russian Premier League. To put that into context, no one in the Eagles’ squad last season averaged more.
The report adds that “his ability to come short, run in behind, or act as a reference point for his midfielders to play off, has helped make CSKA unpredictable this season”.
Chalov looks a really good prospect and one that Palace should target for the upcoming year.
At 21 he has so much room to grow, and the scout report suggests that Chalov is a very well-rounded player who has a lot of strings to his bow. This should mean that Palace can either deploy him by himself upfront, allowing for him to combine with either flank and come short and bring others into play; or play alongside Benteke where he can look for flick-ons and get in behind defences.
Chalov is certainly not guaranteed goals at this level, however, his goal record in Russia shows that he is a good finisher who has at least shown an ability to put away chances when they appear.
Could Chalov be the man to answer Palace’s big problem? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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