Crystal Palace supporters in the Transfer Tavern are very much looking forward to the start of the 2018/19 Premier League campaign, which for their side gets underway in the capital on Saturday.
The Eagles bounced back from a miserable start last season, in which they lost each of their opening eight matches, to eventually finish 11th in the English top-flight, a remarkable 11 points clear of the bottom three. Roy Hodgson’s men deserve huge credit for accumulating 44 points from their final 31 games of the season to comfortably beat the drop, and a faster start this time round could well see the Londoners battling in the top half of the table.
And based on some of the signings they have made, not least in luring the supremely talented Max Meyer to Selhurst Park, a top ten finish is certainly plausible, although they may well have made a huge mistake in failing to get a deal done for Danny Ings, who has instead joined Southampton.
Ultimately, the striking ranks were something of a problem area for Palace last term given the lack of form of main man Christian Benteke, to the point that Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend deputised, and deputised quite well, at the top of the pitch.
And while both men deserve great credit for doing a sterling job for the team, it’s clear that further reinforcements were needed in that department, and Liverpool’s Ings was one man linked with a move to Selhurst Park who could have done the job for the Eagles.
The 26-year-old made the move to Anfield back in 2015 after impressing at Burnley but has seen his time on Merseyside decimated by injuries, with the striker earning just 25 senior appearances for the Reds over the past three years.
However, one simply mustn’t forget that Ings earned a move to Liverpool as a result of netting 11 goals in just 35 Premier League games for Burnley in the 2014/15 campaign, which somewhat underlines his credentials in front of goal at top-flight level – incidentally, that tally would have seen him top Palace’s goal-scoring charts last time round.
Thus, it seems that the Eagles were in need of greater attacking reinforcements over the summer to really push on and perhaps better their 11th place finish this time round, and a natural goal-scorer like Ings would have gone a long way to aiding in that quest.
Yet missing out on the £7.2 million-rated star (as per Transfermarkt) to Southampton could prove to be a huge mistake by the Londoners.
Palace fans… what do you think? Let us know!