After weeks of speculation, it is being reported by the Guardian’s Dominic Fifield (who is an extremely reliable source of Palace based news) that Marouane Chamakh has agreed to a new two-year contract to remain at Selhurst Park.
The Moroccan, who initially signed a one-year deal with the club, (subsidised heavily by his former employers Arsenal, thus taking the financial burden away from us to an extent), is understood to have taken a significant pay cut to remain in SE25.
A revelation in red and blue last season, Chamakh’s career has been rebuilt after a rocky start to life in England, with the easy stereotypes and tired jokes having given way to a greater understanding of what he can bring to a team when offered the chance to play regularly.
Although he only managed five goals for the club last term, it was through link-up play that the striker really shone, demonstrating a deftness of touch and an ability to read the game that was often unmatched by those around him. Unfairly labelled as lazy by many during his Arsenal days, the forward’s work-rate has been another pleasant surprise, with all signs pointing towards another season of impressive performances from him, should things go according to plan.
Despite interest from the likes of QPR and his first club Bordeaux, it seems as though Marouane really does feel as though he’s found a home at Selhurst Park, where the fans have taken to him en masse, unaffected by the criticisms that have been levelled at him in the past and instead, choosing to judge him on the merits or drawbacks of his time with us. Clearly invigorated by the figurative fresh slate that was offered to him, Chamakh has thrived, with Tony Pulis no doubt as impressed as anyone by the frontman’s effort once he took over control of the club last November.
He may not be a “new” signing as such, but it’s fair to say, he’s an incredibly important one in terms of our squad as a whole ahead of the coming months.