Crystal Palace supporters in the Transfer Tavern are very much looking forward to the 2018/19 Premier League season, what with their team seeking to improve upon a solid 11th place finish last term.
The Eagles gave every other side a seven-match head-start in failing to pick up a point or indeed a goal in those matches, although Roy Hodgson’s appointment as manager to replace the sacked Frank de Boer went some way to improving their fortunes. The former England chief took over at Selhurst Park four games into the campaign, and although he lost his first three, he then led the club to 44 points from their final 31 matches to eventually finish 11 points clear of danger.
As such, there are many optimistic and excited Palace fans in the Tavern at present, several of whom are likely to be intrigued by recent reports linking their side with a move for Jack Wilshere.
And with Ruben Loftus-Cheek unlikely to return to the Eagles this season, Hodgson must seek to lure £18 million-rated Wilshere (as per Transfermarkt) across London as the perfect replacement for the Chelsea star.
Ultimately, England international Loftus-Cheek enjoyed a fine season at Selhurst Park to earn a place in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man squad for this summer’s World Cup, where he has since proven his worth with an important cameo against Tunisia, and indeed an effective display in the 6-1 thrashing of Panama.
And with two goals and five assists for Palace last term, as well as a whole host of impressive performances in the attacking role, Hodgson and his side will certainly miss the 22-year-old, what with it likely that he won’t return to Selhurst Park for the 2018/19 campaign.
Thus, the Eagles must turn their attentions to soon-to-be free agent Wilshere, as he brings similar qualities to the number ten role that Palace will lose due to Loftus-Cheek’s absence.
The 26-year-old may well have struggled with injuries throughout his time at Arsenal, but when fully fit and firing, there aren’t many better midfielders in the Premier League than the Englishman, whose ball retention and eye for pass in the final third are both second-to-none.
Yes, there will obviously be concerns regarding his well-documented injury and fitness worries, but Wilshere heads into the 2018/19 season having appeared more for Arsenal last season than he did in any of his preceding five campaigns at the Emirates Stadium, thus perhaps suggesting that he is beginning to get over his fitness concerns.
And with Palace set to lose an influential attacker in Loftus-Cheek, someone who played a key part in helping them avoid the drop last term, Hodgson will need to replace the England international if the Eagles are to improve upon their 11th place finish – Wilshere could be that man.
And with recent reports suggesting that West Ham are only seeking to offer Wilshere a one-year deal, much to the midfielder’s frustrations, Palace must seek to benefit by luring the 26-year-old across London to Selhurst Park.
Palace fans… what do you think? Let us know!