Assessing Crystal Palace, one problematic area of the squad is undoubtedly up front.
Christian Benteke has been misfiring for sometime now, while Alexander Sorloth and Jordan Ayew do not appear to be centre-forwards manager Roy Hodgson particularly trusts when it comes to fulfilling the main responsibilities of a No.9.
The Crystal Palace boss, however, could be about to receive a massive boost in that area.
The club’s other striker option Connor Wickham has been out of action since November 2016 after sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament injury, but Hodgson has confirmed he has finally returned to first-team training.
“They [Wickham and Scott Dann] are in training at the moment,” Hodgson told publications including Football.London.
“Connor Wickham completed a full week’s training, Scott has actually completed three weeks training with the team so they are definitely getting a lot closer to playing for us.
“My target now would definitely be the Dulwich Hamlet game [on Thursday, October 11] although that might be pushed back by the sports scientist if he tells me it is too early.”
Given how long he has been out for, it may be some time before Crystal Palace supporters are able to see Wickham take to the Selhurst Park pitch in a competitive fixtures with Hodgson likely to ease the 25-year-old back into the squad once he returns to full fitness.
But when that time arrives, Eagles fans should be optimistic over what £4.5m-rated (via Transfermarkt) Wickham can bring to the team upon his recall.
The former Sunderland man holds the ball up efficiently, is a threat in the air and strikes the ball extremely well.
He is exactly the sort of alternative Hodgson needs to Benteke right now, and definitely someone the Crystal Palace manager should look towards going forward if the club opt against signing a new striker in January.
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