According to a recent report from The Independent, Shinji Okazaki and Cenk Tosun are on Crystal Palace’s January radar. Japan international Okazaki currently plays his football at Premier League outfit Leicester City and has done so since 2015, while 27-year-old Tosun is on the books at fellow top-flight side Everton following his move there from Besiktas 12 months ago.
But with both men struggling for regular game time at their respective clubs, Roy Hodgson’s Palace are reportedly (as per The Independent) eyeing up moves for the pair this month in a bid to solve their own striking woes, yet it’s Leicester’s Okazaki who the Eagles should target as opposed to Everton’s Tosun.
Ultimately, it has been pretty clear that the Londoners have missed that presence upfront this term given the injury sustained by Christian Benteke back in September, which has thus restricted him to just five Premier League appearances this term.
Yes, the Belgium international was seriously out of form after a season in which he netted on just three occasions for Hodgson’s side, but he gave the Eagles a focal point up top to aim at and thus play off – they simply haven’t had that for much of the season to date.
And while Tosun would give the Eagles another accomplished option in front of goal, he hasn’t exactly proven to be a particularly good aerial presence or someone who can comfortably hold the ball up and bring others into play – and with the likes of Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha down the flanks, that’s something the front man must be able to do.
And while Leicester’s Okazaki had hardly shown to be prolific during his time at the King Power Stadium, netting just 19 times in 129 games for the Foxes, he has the all round game to help bring the best out of those around him.
The 32-year-old made the move to the Midlands outfit back in 2015 and has since then been a regular feature for the Foxes such is his relentless work-ethic and desire to lead from the front – he chases down everything and works tirelessly to make life uncomfortable for opposition defenders.
And with a decent aerial presence alongside that ability to hold the ball up and create space for others, the Japanese star appears to be exactly what Hodgson needs in that forward department – he won’t get the goals Tosun does, but he’ll more than make up for that with his all round game and energy in the final third of the pitch.
Yes, Palace do appear to be in need of that number nine that can come up with the goods in front of goal, but they also need someone to be able to lead the line and get the best out of the supremely talented players already at Hodgson’s disposal.
And while Tosun ticks the box of the former, Okazaki does of the latter, which is why the Eagles should forget about the Turkish ace and instead seek a move for the Leicester man this month.
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