There’s no shame in admitting you know very little about Palace’s new central defensive signing Jaroslaw Jach but according to a man who has watched a lot of him in the last few years, we’ve got ourselves quite a talented defender.
With the Polish international’s transfer all set to be officially announced by the club today there is an obvious hunger for information about the sort of player we’re getting and if Polish football journalist Maciej Luczak’s testimony is anything to go by, we’re unlikely to be disappointed by what the 23-year-old brings to the side.
Expected to be part of the Poland squad that will travel to the World Cup in Russia this summer, Jach is unlikely to start games in which the manager plumps for two central defenders rather than three but for someone who is still so young, it’s great to see him heavily involved in the national set-up.
Known to be confident with the ball at his feet and good in the air, the 6″4 centre-back appears to have all the raw tools necessary to become a success in the Premier League over the next few years, no doubt aided by the coaching he’ll receive from Roy Hodgson, Ray Lewington and Steven Reid. Of course, once Mamadou Sakho returns to full fitness you can probably expect Jaroslaw to drop down to third in the pecking order behind James Tomkins and the Frenchman but even so, that added level of defensive depth could prove vital for us in the battle against relegation between now and the end of the season.
Roy himself has admitted that the signings of Jach and Swedish 21-year-old midfielder Erdal Rakip are unlikely to get neutral’s pulses racing but as he bids to build a side capable of pushing towards the top half of the Premier League, players of their ilk represent core foundations rather than a cherry on top of the cake. Yes, it’s always nice to see a big name arrive but the likes of James Tomkins, Luka Milivojevic and James McArthur weren’t looked upon as marquee signings when they joined; not that it’s stopped them going on to become cult heroes in the intervening period.
I’m not keen to put too much pressure on Jach’s shoulders as he’ll need time to bed in to the new environment but on the face of things, this is a signing I’m extremely pleased to see us making.