Crystal Palace new-boy Alexander Sørloth was one of the only bright spots during the Eagles’ 3-1 defeat to Everton on Sunday but when speaking after the game, it was obvious that the Norwegian International was far from satisfied.
Thrown in from the start by Roy Hodgson for what was his debut in a Palace shirt, the 22-year-old equipped himself remarkably well at Goodison Park, lasting the full 90 minutes and coming incredibly close to scoring with a powerful second half header.
Beyond that, Alex showed both strength and pace when given the ball to feet outside the final third and also proved that he’s capable of setting up his teammates after dinking a ball onto Benteke’s head in the opening 45 minutes and nodding it back across the six-yard-box in the move which eventually ended in Jon Moss pointing to the spot for a penalty kick.
Given all of that, I can’t help but be impressed by the fact that the big man spoke of his disappointment and frustration after the game, rather than choosing to focus on the positive aspects of the day from a personal perspective.
Clearly, having been brought in as a striker, he feels it’s his job to get on the score-sheet whenever he steps onto the pitch, not that he missed any gilt-edged chances against the Toffees. You need only glance at his record in front of goal with Midtjylland to see that he’s a man who is used to rippling the net regularly, leaving me hopeful for what the future holds.
With Benteke in the midst of a truly epic goalscoring drought, I wasn’t surprised to see people calling for the Belgian to be dropped for Sørloth when we resume Premier League action against Tottenham in two weeks’ time. Admittedly, occupying the lone striker’s role against a side as talented and well drilled as Spurs will be a massive challenge but based on Saturday’s efforts, I can’t blame those who feel he’d be more of a nuisance to Pochettino’s defence than Christian.
Whilst I/we must be careful not to get too carried away on the basis of a single performance, the fist sighting of Sørloth gives me hope for his long-term future with us. He seems to have both the ability and mentality necessary to flourish on these shores, which is a relief given the fee we splashed out to secure his services.