The Crystal Palace supporters were drowning their sorrows in the Transfer Tavern last night after their side suffered a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Manchester United.
It looked as if Palace were destined to step out of the relegation zone last night when Patrick van Aanholt fired The Eagles into a 2-0 lead shortly after the half-time interval at Selhurst Park, but their opponents dug deep and staged a remarkable comeback to clinch three points in the dying embers of the game. Nemanja Matic was the hero for The Red Devils as he volleyed in a delightful long-range effort in injury time to score his first goal for the club and break Palace hearts.
Palace’s evening fixture saw Christian Benteke provide his 6th assist of the season for Andros Townsend’s opener, but the Belgian international failed to add a goal of his own for the 21st time in the league this season. His grand total of just two goals in the Premier League makes for grim viewing for both himself and Palace fans, and unless he demonstrates a sudden improvement during the final weeks of the season, the club would be wise to sell him next summer.
However, regardless of whether Hodgson decides to sell Benteke or not, it’s clear that Palace are in desperate need of further options in attacking positions. Aside from Benteke, the club only have one other recognised centre-forward to call upon, namely Alexander Sorloth – a player who signed from FC Midtijylland on transfer deadline day in January.
With that to consider, Palace simply must sign a new striker in the summer, and one man they should be considering is Aleksandar Mitrovic (valued at £7.2 million by Transfermarkt) who is currently playing his trade on loan at Fulham. The Serbian striker was effectively ostracised from the first-team squad by Rafael Benitez at Newcastle United this season, but since moving to Craven Cottage he has proven his goal-scoring credentials with 3 goals from 4 starts for the club, including a brilliant strike against the league-leaders Wolves last month.
Mitrovic is a player who has shown immense promise in patches during his career in English football, but his attitude appears to be a problem which is stagnating his progress. However, this may relate to his personal relationship with Benitez, and if Hodgson can develop a good rapport with the 23-year-old, Palace should sign an ideal replacement for Benteke in the summer transfer window.