With little over a week left of the January transfer window, Crystal Palace have seen their hopes of landing Juventus striker Simone Zaza dealt what looks to be a terminal blow.
The Eagles’ protracted search for a new striker has gone from a point of relative importance to something of a defining factor in the club’s season, following a six game run without a league goal scored by one of their own players.
Yesterday’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of Tottenham saw Alan Pardew’s men get on the scoresheet, but only as a consequence of Jan Vertonghen’s misjudged clearance from a Wilfried Zaha cross, rather than one of our players actually putting the ball in the back of the net.
There was no shortage of endeavour from the hosts on the day, with the second half in particular bringing a raft of near misses, but following Dele Alli’s stunning volley to give Spurs the lead late on, a familiar sense of deflation set in around SE25.
The fans, players and quite possibly the manager need the lift that a new striker would bring, presenting a renewed sense of hope after a month in which we have gradually lost every hint of momentum that had been built in the games between August and November.
We have now played 35 hours of competitive football since a recognised striker got on the scoresheet from open play, a truly bizarre and deeply worrying statistic. For so many reasons, it is absolutely imperative that we see some new blood come into the club next week, if only to give us some hope of ending a run of form which has got everyone covering their eyes.
Who will it be?