The last few weeks have seen mountains of speculation gathering in the press over the immediate future of both Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend but over the weekend, Eagles boss Roy Hodgson has dismissed any talk of the pair leaving Selhurst Park this summer.
Last term, the former England gaffer built his entire attacking plan around Zaha and Townsend, often using both as auxiliary strikers rather than out-and-out wingers and with the squad already too small for the boss’ liking, the chances of him sanctioning the sale of either has always seemed a bit far-fetched.
Sadly, with the media continually printing stories linking Zaha to Dortmund, Everton, Liverpool and Chelsea, whilst also giving what feel like hourly updates on the potential of Andros Townsend moving back to Newcastle United, it’s becoming harder and harder for the Palace faithful to believe that the club will stick to their guns and keep hold of both; particularly when you consider the lack of funds we have at our disposal for new signings.
Last year’s injury crisis, coupled with the loss of Yohan Cabaye, Bakary Sako, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Timothy Fosu-Mensah this summer has left fans feeling justifiably concerned over the current squad’s ability to avoid relegation for a record sixth consecutive season, with little in the way of concrete news over new signings to bolster the group.
In reality, Roy’s desperation to keep hold of both Zaha and Townsend for another season is logical but without a little more strength in depth being added to the current first-team squad, it’s difficult to envisage us kicking on towards a top half finish between now and next May. Whilst Premier League stability takes time, I certainly won’t be lambasting any Palace fan who is looking forward with a degree of trepidation, let’s just hope the pair remain injury-free for the vast majority of the 2018-19 campaign.