Despite getting back to winning ways at the weekend, Crystal Palace suffered another blow when star centre-back James Tomkins had to be taken off after suffering a groin injury. Indeed, while we’re awaiting confirmation as to its seriousness, Football.London reported at the time that Roy Hodgson had hinted he could be out for the rest of the season.
Especially now that the Eagles have some daunting task ahead in the next couple of weeks, not having their leader in defence can cost them badly. Tomkins has been a rock in their defence throughout the season, bailing them out of trouble and neutralizing some intimidating strikers at the same time.
Alongside Mamadou Sakho, the former West Ham man has given the club a solid base, one making up for their relatively poor attacking threat.
Tomkins, who is valued at £7.2 million (by Transfermarkt), has certainly been consistent in fending off danger and helped the Eagles keep 8 clean-sheets in his 29 appearances. Along with that, he’s recorded a 55% tackling success, made 63 interceptions and 213 clearances. When it comes to being tough, he’s won 116 aerial battles (stats via Premier League), bullying strikers and containing their threat amicably.
However, his absence will now badly be felt as Palace face Manchester City, Arsenal and Everton in their next three fixtures. Scott Dann and Martin Kelly might’ve seen out the result against Newcastle, but repeating it over 90 minutes against the upcoming nightmare could end up crumbling their momentum.
Unless Crystal Palace keep a solid defensive shape, they won’t be able to attack with full force either. Roy Hodgson might’ve built a reputation for being a giant killer with Palace, yet surviving the upcoming onslaught without their dominant centre-half is now almost an impossible task.
Palace fans, do you think Tomkins’ presence will be missed in the upcoming big matches? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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