Crystal Palace are ready to make a move to re-sign Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi after the Belgian’s struggles to break into Frank Lampard’s plans at Stamford Bridge, according to the Express.
Roy Hodgson recently expressed that Palace will need to sign a new striker in January if they are to challenge the established top-six for a European spot this season (Standard), with the Eagles currently sixth in the Premier League standings after beating London rivals West Ham United at the weekend.
Palace entered the international break in one of the final potential Europa League spots, which saw Manchester United qualify for the group stage of this season’s tournament after Manchester City lifted the Carabao Cup last term, while seventh-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers qualified for the second round qualifying stage after Pep Guardiola’s men clinched the FA Cup.
But the Eagles have only scored eight goals in their opening eight league games, with Hodgson relying on a solid defence to claim their current standing as many of the big clubs struggle.
Christian Benteke, Connor Wickham and influential forward Wilfried Zaha are also yet to get off the mark for Palace in the top-flight this term, and face a daunting run of fixtures with Man City, Arsenal, Leicester City, Chelsea and Liverpool their next five opponents.
In light of the struggles of their current attacking core, Palace are ready to make a move to bring Chelsea striker Batshuayi back to Selhurst Park after his loan stint at the South London outfit for the closing months of the 2018/19 campaign.
The Belgian is Palace’s primary target to answer Hodgson’s call for a new striker, but face paying £22million for the 26-year-old after Chelsea slapped a high asking price on the 27-cap international they spent £32m to buy from Olympique de Marseille in 2016.
Batshuayi’s contract at Stamford Bridge is set to expire in the summer of 2021, and Palace hope Chelsea can be persuaded to part ways with the forward sooner following Tammy Abraham’s emergence in West London.
The England international’s leading place in Lampard’s plans has seen Batshuayi again cast to the fringes, and serve as a rarely-seen alternative with one start in six appearances (TransferMarkt).
He has hit three goals in his 134 minutes on the field, though, including the final of four penned against Southampton on Sunday, when he entered the action in the 84th-minute.
Batshuayi was a hit during his temporary stint at Selhurst Park, scoring six times in 13 games across all competitions, and Hodgson would certainly benefit from having his talents back at his disposal.
Benteke only penning one goal in his last 21 games (TransferMarkt) going into the current campaign showed Palace had to make a move for a new forward in the summer, and the Belgian going a further eight fixtures without finding the net has only nailed home the issue.
But the Eagles scraping through their difficult next few games and remaining in contention for a top-six spot could prove crucial in Batshuayi looking favourably on a permanent switch to Selhurst Park, otherwise less-ideal candidates will have to be considered.
Will this be Wilfried Zaha's final season at Crystal Palace?
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