After seeing himself linked with a move to Chelsea in recent weeks Burnley striker Ashley Barnes may view a move to Crystal Palace as a dramatic step down but according to this report, the Eagles are set to make a bid for him in the coming hours.
Whilst he may not be the most prolific of options the former Brighton striker is certainly a physically imposing presence, offering a potential alternative to Christian Benteke at the head of Roy Hodgson’s attack and whilst an eight-figure offer for him may have plenty raising their eyebrows, you’re unlikely to get anyone better for less in the vastly inflated market that is the January transfer window.
With Clarets boss Sean Dyche having brought in Chris Wood as the club’s main striking option last summer, Barnes has been demoted to the bench, leading to him making just eight league starts since the beginning of the 2017/18 campaign. Although he may be happy to play second fiddle to Wood for the time-being, there is obviously a chance that he’ll relish the opportunity to start more frequently following a move to SE25.
Whilst Hodgson has been forced to play with one main striker given the scarcity of attacking alternatives open to him, his long-term tactical preference has always been to have two strikers on the pitch working in tandem with one another, raising the possibility of Barnes partnering Benteke at the head of the side between now and May.
Who we would sacrifice from midfield in this instance is up for debate but I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that the misfiring Benteke would benefit hugely from having a sizeable partner alongside him from week to week. Currently, Christian is tasked with winning flick-ons that seldom find a teammate but were Barnes to be used alongside him, there is every chance that an understanding could be struck between the two rather quickly.
This is all pure speculation on my part given the fact that there has only been report of the potential bid (coming from a relatively inconsistent source) but on the face of things, I can certainly see some logic in a move being made by the club before the deadline passes.
We shall see.