Crystal Palace loanee Victor Camarasa could be set to switch Premier League clubs this January, suggesting that there could be a lack of cohesion within Palace’s ranks.
According to reports from Mucho Deporte (via TEAMtalk), the Eagles could be ready to agree to cut Camarasa’s loan deal short due to his lack of first-team football.
He’s played just five minutes of Premier League football this season, making Palace’s deal already look a bit short-sighted. The report suggests that Palace paid £1.28m for the privilege of the loan deal, with the deal becoming permanent if he is to play in 15 or more games this campaign for an obliged fee of £11.56m.
Considering that this looked like one of Palace’s biggest coups this summer, the deal has really fallen on its feet, raising questions of why they went after him in the first place?
As previously mentioned, Camarasa has played five minutes in the league this season – a cameo in Palace’s 4-0 defeat to Spurs – as well as an EFL Cup match against Colchester, which they went to lose on penalties. To start with, it wasn’t necessarily surprising to see him named on the bench regularly, as Hodgson can take his time with blending players in. Last campaign, Max Meyer – Palace’s big signing of the summer – was slowly introduced by Hodgson, regularly coming off the bench – Palace fans could be forgiven for thinking the same was happening with Camarasa.
But as we come towards the end of November, Camarasa looks no more likely to get a game for Palace.
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It begs the questions of why – considering the Eagles have just Joel Ward as a natural right-back and Patrick van Aanholt as the only established left-back – they didn’t invest that money into other positions in the squad.
It’s true that Roy Hodgson hasn’t allowed for many creative midfield positions in his squad after switching from a 4-4-2, with the legs and nouse of Luka Milivojevic, James McArthur and Cheikhou Kouyate regularly favoured in his more recent 4-5-1. Before then, it would have been assumed that he would take up a position on the left flank in Hodgson’s 4-4-2, where he would be asked to play in the half-spaces and have more creative freedom, but with that position now deemed obsolete, the need for Camarasa is essentially non-existent.
However, even if that formation was still in use, Palace have a plethora of other options who could play that role; Max Meyer, Jeffrey Schlupp or even Wilfried Zaha could be asked to play in that role when there are still gaping holes in some positions in Palace’s squad.
When a deal gets arranged for potentially over £11m for a player, you would assume that the manager would want to use them in some way or form, but for whatever reason, Hodgson hasn’t.
What is Camarasa’s role in this squad? No Palace fan or journalist can tell as he hasn’t been used. Surely, if Roy Hodgson was desperate for this signing, then he would at least be using him in some way or another, but he isn’t. This suggests that it might not have been Hodgson’s signing at all – and it’s costing Palace in wages and a loan fee.
Hodgson has made it clear that he needs reinforcements in January with both full-back positions and the centre-forward position areas that could be strengthened (via Evening Standard). What was the point of the effort behind the Camarasa signing for a player who doesn’t even get a look-in? Why wasn’t that effort exhausted into filling the hugely obvious gaps in the Eagles’ squad? It’s a question only Roy Hodgson, Steve Parish and Dougie Freedman know the answer to, and they need to be more pragmatic in the future to ensure that a squad isn’t left so lopsided again.
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