When speaking to Holmesdale Radio last night, Palace chairman Steve Parish revealed that the club did have a deal in place for Michael Hector before Chelsea swooped in.
The former Reading man is known to have been on the radar of both clubs all summer, but it was the Blues who made the decisive move with time ticking down ahead of yesterday’s deadline. For many, it has left us looking a little light in central defence, but you would have to think that, had it been a major concern for Alan Pardew and the owners all summer, we’d have brought another man in already.
— Holmesdale Radio (@holradio) September 1, 2015
For Hector; a known Chelsea fan, it may look to be a dream move now, but you can be 99% sure that he will join the dozens of Blues who are out on loan across Europe before too long, such is the depth of options at Jose Mourinho’s disposal.
Whilst you can fully appreciate the lure of signing for the Premier League champions after learning his trade at Reading, the most important thing for any young player, particularly a defender, is regular game time, which he may well struggle for over the next few years.
No one can be sure how Hector’s career at Palace would have panned out, but on the face of things, it’s fair to assume that he would have stood a far greater chance of flourishing with us than he will do at Stamford Bridge, with a host of names lined up as proof of the hurdles that now lie in his way.
Still, it’s nice to know that we did actively attempt to bring the defender in before the transfer window closed. Let’s hope it’s not a decision he regrets.