With reports everywhere suggesting that a deal for West Ham’s Diafra Sakho is now inevitable, it sounds as though Palace remain extremely keen on landing Fiorentina striker Khouma Babacar into the bargain.
Having struggled for attacking options ever since he took charge of the team in September, I can’t blame Roy Hodgson for looking to bring two additional strikers into the fold during the January transfer window but I don’t mind telling you that I’m pleasantly surprised by this positive change of tactics from Palace’s boardroom.
Given the struggles Christian Benteke has endured as Palace’s lone striker this season, the introduction of both Sakho and Babacar may be exactly what we need to get our attacking juices flowing, hopefully aiding the likes of Zaha, Townsend and Loftus-Cheek in their bid to provide assists galore heading into the final third of the field.
Anyone who has been paying attention to Hodgson’s tactical preferences will have noticed how keen he is to use a flexible 4-4-2 whenever possible, leading me to believe that the arrival of both Sakho and Babacar will allow Zaha to drift back into his natural position on the flank, giving us both Palace and potency in front of goal that has seldom been seen so far this term.
Whilst Sakho’s potential arrival from West Ham comes with a huge amount of baggage attached, the signing of Babacar from Fiorentina is one of potential on the face of things. Still only 24, the frontman has scored pretty regularly in Serie A over the years but is now thought to be completely ready for a new challenge, leaving Palace free to pounce and add some real competition at the head of the side.
Although no one can ever be sure of a new signing’s success before they start playing within the side, the mere thought of having two more out-and-out goalscorers on our books is enough to bring a smile to my face given the tests that lay in wait for us during the second half of the campaign. In essence, we need another six victories to be sure of our top flight status in 2018/19 and there is no doubt in my mind that the addition of Sakho and Babacar would help us to achieve that between now and May.
Quite how quickly we can work behind the scenes to bring both deals to a conclusion is anybody’s guess but the tone of reporting from the press is certainly more positive than it’s been in many of the transfer windows that have preceded this one.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed.