The Crystal Palace fans in the Transfer Tavern are feeling more relieved now that they have opened up a gap above the relegation zone. The Eagles moved up to 12th place on Saturday following their narrow 1-0 victory over Burnley at Selhurst Park – Bakary Sako claimed the only goal of the game.
But Crystal Palace are still concerned by their lack of striker options. Christian Benteke has not been firing at his best this season but he is their only fit, recognised senior striker. The former Aston Villa and Liverpool man needs a partner to share the burden with.
The Eagles have been linked with a number of strikers in recent weeks, including West Ham United forward Diafra Sakho and Fiorentina striker Khouma Babacar. If we were Roy Hodgson, we would avoid those two options and instead battle with rivals Brighton for Moussa Dembele.
Dembele must be ready to leave Celtic this month to try his hand in a top European league and push for a place in France’s World Cup squad. Rated at just £4.5m on Transfermarkt, the 21-year-old has been prolific for the Bhoys in Scotland and the next logical step in his career is to play Premier League football.
Crystal Palace are a club who would be able to offer him regular playing time and this could appeal to Dembele when deciding on his future options. In the mean time, having the option of using Christian Benteke or Moussa Dembele as their central striker is an appealing prospect for Hodgson.
His other options are not as tempting. Sakho has had attitude problems at West Ham and has spent a lot of time out injured. Babacar has not started a single game for Fiorentina in Serie A this year and is hardly prolific. These two Senegal internationals are likely to cost about £15m. For just about £6m more, Palace could land one of Europe’s best youngsters in Dembele.