Earlier this summer, Crystal Palace signed England international Andros Townsend from relegated Newcastle United in one of the best bits of business in the current transfer window. And with Yannick Bolasie on his way to join Ronald Koeman at Goodison Park, Townsend may be the man to step up to the plate and lead Alan Pardew’s men to safety this season.
After joining Newcastle in the January transfer window, Townsend proved his worth with a number of impressive performances – including a phenomenal display in their 5-1 victory over former club Tottenham Hotspur on the final day of the campaign. And although Palace had to pay a handsome fee of £13 million for the winger, Townsend has it all – and Pardew knows just how good he can be.
With Townsend’s presence in attacking areas, the Eagles should cause plenty of problems for opposing sides this season. At the time of writing, Palace are priced at 11/4 in Coral’s football odds to finish in the top half of the division – which isn’t beyond their capabilities considering the vast array of talent at Pardew’s disposal.
However, Palace’s primary objective HAS to be to simply avoid relegation. The Eagles struggled for form in the second half of last season and Pardew needs to inspire his troops for what could be a difficult few months. As of 9th August, Palace are 6/1 to suffer relegation this season – and Townsend will be desperately hoping to avoid back-to-back demotions for multiple clubs.
If you want to place a wager on Palace to stay up, you can find up to the minute football odds at Coral’s website. If Townsend hits the ground running, there is absolutely no reason why the Eagles cannot climb the division and challenge for a place in the top half – it is all about consistency for Palace this season. If truth be told, it is almost impossible to predict how Pardew’s men will perform.
And to be fair, the same could be said of last season. The Eagles struggled in the Premier League but managed to reach the FA Cup final and came within minutes of beating Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United before Jessie Lingard struck a winner deep into extra-time. Some fans will be calling for Palace to go after England’s oldest club competition once again but the smart move is to focus on Premier League survival – you only need to look at Wigan Athletic’s recent struggles to see that.
Right now, Palace are looking strong ahead of the new campaign. Whilst Bolasie and Dwight Gayle have left the club, Townsend and Christian Benteke will give Pardew credible options in attacking areas. And whilst the big Belgian will offer a genuine threat in the air, Townsend could be their best and most important signing this summer.