A tweet sent from the account of Crystal Palace’s doctor last night would suggest that Joe Ledley will definitely be leaving the club when his contract expires in a few days time.
Whilst Joe hasn’t played a great deal under the guidance of Sam Allardyce, I’m sure no one will forget the effort he’s put in for the club since being brought in by Tony Pulis midway through our first season back in the top flight of English football.
It’s easy now to question whether or not “Leds” is good enough to command a place in our midfield but we should see that conundrum as nothing more than a sign of growth from our squad rather than laying any blame at Ledley’s door. When he first arrived from Celtic, his no nonsense attitude in the middle of the park suited us perfectly, adding some much needed steel and enabling Pulis to drag the team away from the threat of relegation and into a mid-table position heading into the summer of 2014.
Now, with the likes of James McArthur, Yohan Cabaye, Jason Puncheon and Luka Milivojevic all vying for places in the centre of Palace’s midfield, it should come as little surprise to see that Ledley has dropped down the pecking order. It doesn’t mean he isn’t still capable of preforming well for another top flight or high-end Championship side but in our specific circumstances, it’s difficult to see why Allardyce would have retained his services heading into the summer.
It’s a well-worn point of view but the definition of progress stems from replacing every departing player with a better option and I’m sure that is something Big Sam will be looking to do in the coming weeks and months in relation to Joe Ledley.
Ideally, we’ll look to exploit the European market more widely than ever before in the upcoming transfer window but for now, I think it’s only right that we say thank you to the bearded Welshman for the hard graft he’s put in with a Crystal Palace badge on his chest over the last three years.
He’ll be missed.