Crystal Palace fans have been drowning their sorrows in the Transfer Tavern during the international break following the Eagles’ awful start to the season.
Roy Hodgson’s men have lost all seven of their Premier League games and haven’t scored a goal in any of them, with their latest a 4-0 defeat to high-flyers Manchester United.
The London-based outfit are already onto their second manager of the season, having sacked Frank de Boer back in September after losing his opening four league matches, although things haven’t got any better under former England chief Hodgson since then.
Part of their problem is their lack of fit strikers, with the likes of Christian Benteke and Connor Wickham out injured, leaving 24-year-old Freddie Lapado as their most senior forward at present.
And it appears that they may have to raise funds for a new striker in January, and one man who could be on his way out of Selhurst Park to do just that is winger Andros Townsend.
The England international moved to Palace back in 2016 and was targeted by Leicester City during the summer, and it is the Foxes who are reportedly after him again in a bid to strengthen their attacking areas.
However, although it is strikers that the Eagles are in desperate need of, they simply cannot afford to let Townsend leave in January, as he is the sort of player they need in a relegation battle.
Ultimately, the 26-year-old played a part in keeping the club in the Premier League last season with three goals and six assists for Palace, with that latter tally second to only Wilfried Zaha (11) in terms of most assists over the course of the campaign.
Thus, Townsend is clearly a key player to Palace, and he has the ability, much in the same way Zaha does, to win a match single-handedly for the Eagles.
Although we haven’t seen much of his best at all so far this season, the 26-year-old is too good a player to be out of form for long, and when he begins taking defenders on again and using his pace and trickery to find space out wide or in the box, Palace will surely reap the rewards.
Yes, Hodgson needs a striker, but Benteke looks set to miss only a month of the campaign, so by the time January comes around he should be back leading the line for the club.
More reinforcements are likely needed, Benteke and Wickham are unlikely to get the goals they need, but that shouldn’t be at the expense of Townsend, especially as Palace will likely play to the former’s strengths as the season progresses, something Townsend can do from out wide.
Every club needs a player like the 26-year-old, who can turn it on and is almost unplayable on occasion, when in a relegation battle, and with a World Cup summer approaching, he knows that he has to perform at his best to get into Gareth Southgate’s England reckoning.
And while a striker is needed at Selhurst Park, it shouldn’t be the £10.8 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) who is let go to fund that arrival. It’s a non-starter.
Palace fans… what do you think? Let us know!