This article forms part of our Total Duds feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
When Victor Camarasa joined Crystal Palace this season, the fans, chairman and manager all seemed excited about what he could bring to this side.
The Spaniard brought a lot of success to Cardiff City last season, managing to contribute to nine of their goals in the last campaign, meaning he had played a part in over a quarter of the team’s haul, considering that they only scored 34 in the whole season.
Upon his arrival, there was a pretty positive reaction.
Manager Roy Hodgson spoke about the creativity he could bring, saying, “Víctor is a player we were keen to sign and I’m delighted he’s decided to join us. He is a strong and technically gifted midfielder and will be a great addition to the team.”
Steve Parish echoed those comments, also talking about the “creativity” he could bring to the team.
The midfielder joined on a season-long loan from Real Betis for a loan fee reported to be at £1.28m with an obligation to buy of £11.51m if the midfielder plays 15 or more games this campaign, according to Spanish outlet Mucho Deporte (via TEAMtalk).
However, with the season now over a third of the way through, it is becoming pretty evident that his creativity isn’t needed or wanted by the 72-year-old manager.
So far this campaign, the 25-year-old midfielder has had next to no impact for his team, though has he had the opportunity to. Prior to this weekend at least, his one substitute appearance has meant he has played just five minutes this season, so thus far, it is hard to describe Camarasa as anything other than a dud for the Eagles.
Will that change in the future? Well, it probably depends on the tactics of the former England manager. When he first joined, he told the club website that he could play anywhere in midfield, which would have lead many to believe that he may play on the left in a 4-4-2 formation, much like central midfielders Max Meyer and Rueben Loftus-Cheek have done in the past.
Hodgson has started the season with that formation, opting to play Meyer on the left of midfield, restricting Camarasa to a position on the bench. Palace opted for that formation for the first two weeks – drawing 0-0 with Everton and losing to Sheffield United 1-0 – before the manager decided to switch up the way they were playing.
From that game since, a much tighter midfield three has been preferred – most commonly using Cheikhou Kouyate, James McArthur and Luka Milivojevic – and that has really put Camarasa even further down the pecking order. Jeffrey Schlupp, James McCarthy, and Meyer seem to all be ahead of him in the race for those three positions, with them all featuring more in the league.
So, unless Hodgson switches up the formation again, it is really hard to see an entry point for him. And even if he does go to a 4-4-2, Meyer is probably a more likely option on the left for the club considering that he is on the books full time at the club.
As TEAMtalk have reported, it seems there could be a possibility that he could return to Real Betis before potentially moving on again. That could well be the best option for the red and blue, as there is no need having to pay the wages of a player who is not being used, especially when there are big problems in the full-back and striker positions.
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