There are quite a few issues which have plagued Crystal Palace’s season, yet it’s their poor defensive work which has ruined some good work time and again. For the fans reading this, they’ll know all about the frustration their backline can cause them at times, probably fuming at the screen.
The Eagles might not have conceded as many as last season, yet are still quite weak defensively, being unable to close out games because of it. If they’re ever going to improve and move up the league, pushing for a top-half finish and beyond, it needs sorting this summer. Largely, the attack is there. Now it’s about tightening up.
Indeed, their current crop of defenders are too slow and error-prone to help them maintain consistency, forcing Roy Hodgson to make decisions in the summer.
He and Steve Parish have to buy better defenders to solidify his core and push for a top-half finish next season. It can’t keep on like this, enduring a Premier League season rather than enjoying it.
With that in mind, here are two options he can look into.
The Burnley defender’s been a marvel in earning them points with his rock-solid defending and has impressed many clubs with that, despite a dip since the summer. Prior to the World Cup, he was an outside bet to make the 2018 squad and linked with Liverpool, so Palace should act on the relative quietness about him since.
Sill, while the hype has undoubtedly died down after an inspired season with the Clarets last time around, Tarkowski’s been pivotal to their fantastic turnaround of late. He’s helped them keep five clean-sheets while making 183 clearances, winning 217 duels and 140 aerial battles (stats via Premier League).
An ambitious potential target to consider, Tarkowski can be the defensive leader Palace are missing, while adding some missing steel and composure to their back-four.
Now an outcast at Chelsea, Gary Cahill needs to work fast to save his career from doom.
Having worked with Roy Hodgson at the national level, Cahill can prove himself at Crystal Palace. Seeing out his final days in the sun, he could have a transformative effect on the club. Indeed, the Chelsea man’s ability to contain prime attackers, composed nature and leadership qualities can highly benefit the Eagles – who are reportedly (via the Sun) set to go in for him this summer.
Hodgson needs someone who can hold the line and clear danger whenever needed and, despite his age, Cahill can still be an asset to improve his side’s defensive state.
Palace fans, can any of these two solidify the Eagles defence? Join the discussion by commenting below.