Crystal Palace supporters in the Transfer Tavern are very much looking forward to the start of the 2018/19 Premier League season, which for their side begins in the capital on Saturday.
The Eagles gave the rest of the division an eight-game headstart last time round in failing to pick up any points in that time, although Roy Hodgson’s men then produced the goods to accumulate 44 points from their final 31 matches of the season, eventually finishing 11th in the Premier League table. Thus, there is clearly much potential in this Palace side, and a stronger start this time round could well see the Londoners challenging for a top half finish.
And based on some of their additions over the summer, not least the supremely talented Max Meyer, a top half finish could well be a possibility, although failing to lure Ruben Loftus-Cheek back to Selhurst Park could come back to haunt them in their pursuit of the top ten.
The 22-year-old came up through the ranks at Premier League giants Chelsea but was struggling to earn regular football at Stamford Bridge, hence he made the temporary switch across the capital to Palace for the entirety of last season.
And the Englishman certainly produced the goods at Selhurst Park in netting twice and laying on four assists for Hodgson’s side, one goal and one assist of which came in the final three games of the season to round off an outstanding first loan spell away from Chelsea.
And while those figures are hardly ground-breaking, the vast majority of what good Palace produced in the final third came through Loftus-Cheek, which was subsequently backed up by his inclusion in the England squad for the recent World Cup, where the 22-year-old was called upon on four occasions by Gareth Southgate, impressing in the lot.
Thus, there is no doubting that the midfielder is a huge talent and would have without doubt been a big asset to Hodgson’s side going forward this season – his efforts played a key role in helping them move away from the bottom three.
And having someone like that in the side, alongside the likes of Wilfried Zaha and new signing Meyer, would have no doubt enhanced Palace’s hopes of moving to the next level this time round.
As such, failure to re-sign the £16.2 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) could come back to haunt the Eagles, and may well thwart their pursuit of the top half of the division.
Palace fans… what do you think? Let us know!