It feels as though Crystal Palace have been linked with a move for Fiorentina striker Khouma Babacar in every single transfer window over the last couple of years but this January, it looks as though the Eagles may finally land their man.
The club’s desperation for attacking reinforcements has been well documented in the months since Roy Hodgson’s arrival in the dugout and now, one third of the way through the January transfer window, it looks as though the wheels may be starting to turn over a deal for the Senegalese international.
Still just 24, the frontman has always been earmarked by Palace’s scouts as a player with real potential and this term, having struggled for game time in Serie A, he himself is believed to be more open to a move away from Fiorentina than ever before.
Given our lack of alternatives to Christian Benteke at the head of the side, Babacar would be virtually guaranteed a run of games between now and May, solving any concerns he has about not being able to catch the eye of Senegal’s coaching staff in the build-up to this summer’s World Cup in Russia. Admittedly, it would be a big life change for him having been on Fiorentina’s books since the age of 15 but now more than ever, it feels as though the time may be right for him to pursue a change of scene.
Whilst injuries to the likes of Scott Dann and Jason Puncheon may have altered our overall strategy this January, the hunt for a striker isn’t something that’s been sprung on us out of nowhere. Hopefully, having done plenty of homework on Babacar over the years, we’re ready to strike quickly in a bid to secure his services, adding depth to the forward line at Selhurst Park for the first time in more than a year.
Given the uncertain future that surrounds Connor Wickham’s long-awaited return from injury, we would do well to add a striker in Babacar’s mould to the mix, leaving us, should the former Sunderland man ever regain full match fitness, with three capable goal-scorers vying for a starting spot.
It feels like a pipe-dream at present but with a little bit of luck, Roy Hodgson could rotate his strikers week on week depending on their specific attributes, rather than crowbarring Benteke into the XI from game to game as a consequence of a lack of options behind him.