Those of you who pay close attention to Crystal Palace’s transfer stories whenever the window opens will no doubt be aware of the name Khouma Babacar. The former Fiorentina man had been spoken about as a possible Eagles recruit for years before promptly signing for Sassuolo this January.
Still relatively young and seemingly rather prolific whenever given the chance to play whilst on Fiorentina’s books, there were plenty, myself included, who felt as though we might have missed out on an €8 million bargain but his form since suggests quite the opposite.
With just two goals (one of which was a penalty) in seven appearances for Sassuolo so far, plenty of supporters at the Senegalese man’s new club are wondering whether or not they’ve been sold a dud by their high-flying competitors. Of course, it could just be a slightly prolonged blip in form for the 25-year-old but manager Iachini’s decision not to start him against Milan last Sunday, or even bother to bring him off the bench later in the game, hints at a breakdown in trust between Babacar and the Sassuolo coaching staff.
It’s worth noting that Khouma had been on Fiorentina’s books from the age of just 15 after moving to Italy from Senegal to pursue a career in the professional game, meaning that a period of adjustment may be necessary before he can begin to find his best form but with Palace having been desperate to find a man who could succeed where Christian Benteke has so far failed this term, we may well have had a lucky escape by steering clear of Babacar.
Ideally, we’ll see Alexander Sørloth return from injury and find some form in front of goal but one way and another, it looks likely that the aforementioned Belgian will be on his way out of Selhurst Park this summer. Who we’ll look to replace him with is anyone’s guess but for once, I think it’s highly unlikely that we’ll see Khouma’s name being linked with us in the British or Italian press.