Crystal Palace

TT Roundup: Frank opens up on Watkins, Zaha accused of diving and Crystal Palace want another midfielder

In this instalment of our TT Roundup, Football Transfer Tavern have gathered three of the biggest stories to have involved Crystal Palace recently and have provided our thoughts on the reports published.

BRENTFORD BOSS TALKS OLLIE WATKINS

With Ollie Watkins having another good season in the Championship, the Brentford manager has spoken up about the chances of the 23-year-old leaving in the January transfer window.

According to reports from West London Sport in early October, the forward was a Crystal Palace target in the summer, however, no fee could be agreed between the two parties. The move was wanted at the time by Watkins, as his revealed in an interview with West London Sport, saying that, “when there’s speculation everyone’s head gets turned but that’s normal”.

Watkins’ 10 goals in 14 games means that as we approach the January window, transfer speculation is only likely to ramp up.

In fact, Thomas Frank even came out after Watkins’ impressive performance against QPR by saying that he is happy at Griffin Park and that he does not fear losing him.

He said: “He is enjoying it here.

“I can only praise him for his work ethic – look how hard he works throughout the game.

“That’s a massive, big thing for us. We were pressing high constantly in the second half – chasing everything and keep on pushing up. His focus is on developing and wanting to get better.”

Verdict

With Watkins being deployed as an out-and-out striker, his goal tally has been really impressive. He currently sits second in the top scorer charts with 10 goals, one behind Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Considering Palace have scored as many goals as Watkins alone this season, it would not be surprising at all to see them go back in for him.

On the basis that Watkins had his head turned in the summer, Palace might have a chance with him if they can meet the required fee from Brentford – which could prove a stumbling block the market in January and the form he is in.

CLATTENBERG CALLS ZAHA A DIVER

Mark Clattenburg has upset a few Palace fans in his Daily Mail column this week after saying that Crystal Palace were given ‘a gift’ by VAR by suggesting that Wilfried Zaha dived to earn his side a penalty.

Zaha was initially booked for simulation when he first went down after Calum Chambers’ tackle, however, VAR checked the decision and overruled it, giving Palace the penalty and therefore rescinding Zaha’s booking.

In his article in the Daily Mail he said: “VAR left me puzzled at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

“I’m still lost as to why they got involved to award Crystal Palace a penalty against Arsenal when, in my opinion, Wilfried Zaha clearly dived.

“Referee Martin Atkinson was right to book the Palace man for simulation.”

Verdict

Mark Clattenburg is entitled to his opinion but it seems a strange one considering that the penalty looked pretty stonewall.

Zaha clearly knocks the ball past Calum Chambers with some ease, before the player sticks his leg out, making it impossible for the Ivorian to evade the leg if he wants to pick the ball up again.

Ian Wright – likely to be a neutral head for this match due to his link to both Palace and Arsenal – said that he “cannot understand” Martin Atkinson’s initial decision to book Wilfried Zaha for a penalty, therefore disagreeing with Clattenburg’s verdict.

He told Match of the Day 2 (via Football.London): What I did like about it was when it was used for Crystal Palace’s penalty.

“The swiftness in which Martin Atkinson wanted to book Wilfried Zaha for a foul that I cannot understand that he didn’t see was where VAR worked there.

“What it showed me was how quickly he wanted to book him for being fouled.”

GLEN KAMARA WANTED BY PALACE

Former Arsenal youngster Glen Kamara is wanted by the Eagles, according to reports.

The Daily Mail say that the 24-year-old holding midfielder is wanted by both Palace and their rivals Brighton.

The midfielder has allegedly been in good form this season, and he impressed scouts as they went to watch him have an impressive game in Porto as they drew 1-1 with the 2011 Europa League winners.

Verdict

With Palace having so many central midfield players in their squad this transfer doesn’t really make the most sense on paper.

Roy Hodgson brought in both James McCarthy and Victor Camarasa for the central midfield positions this season, and after 10 Premier League games they have just one start between them.

It wouldn’t make sense to add yet more competition to that position before they have at least streamlined their already comprehensive central midfield options.

What do you make of these rumours? Join the discussion by commenting below… 

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TT Roundup: Frank opens up on Watkins, Zaha accused of diving and Crystal Palace want another midfielder
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