With moves for the likes of Khouma Babacar, Eder and Oumar Niasse all seemingly dead in the water with fewer than 48 hours to go in the January window, Palace are now expected to make a move for Bordeaux striker Gaetan Laborde.
Whilst the 23-year-old Frenchman doesn’t boast the most glittering of careers to date, I would suggest that a bid for his services would make sense, as long as we weren’t expecting him to bag 15 goals at the head of the side between now and May.
Standing at 6’3 and with caps to his name at France U17, U18, U19 and U20 level, it’s fair to say that Laborde has a certain level of pedigree without ever having scaled the highest of heights. With two goals in nine appearances this term and 10 in 38 last season, he could well prove to be a shrewd piece of business if Roy Hodgson can get the best out of him but at this stage of the season, I’m always concerned about the expectation level fans will attach to any new additions at the head of the side.
Encouragingly, loan spells at Red Star, Brest and Clermont (whilst admittedly at a far lower level than the Premier League) brought a total of 49 goals in just 68 appearances between 2013-2016, which when you consider his age at the time, certainly points towards potential lurking within his game.
I’m under no illusions about the quality of the signing should it come off before tomorrow night’s deadline but having kept ourselves just above the drop zone until this point, the addition of an energetic young striker with a point to prove and fire in his belly may be all that is needed to spur us on to safety between now and the summer. Would we all have preferred a more proven name to come into the fold? Of course, but you need only look towards Christian Benteke to conclude that reputation alone is not enough to guarantee you goals in the Premier League.
We’ll wait and see how this one develops.