Crystal Palace’s summer transfer window has been remarkably uneventful so far, prompting many to wonder where all the Eagles’ money has gone. There are plenty of reasons for our belt-tightening, most of which have been detailed perfectly in this piece.
There isn’t a football fan alive who feels as though his team couldn’t be improved with one or two additions in each and every transfer window; in Palace’s case, the most pressing need comes in the centre of midfield and out wide. Having lost Yohan Cabaye, Bakary Sako and Ruben Loftus-Cheek after their contracts and loan ended in June, fans are desperate to see replacements found but at the time of writing, the only confirmed arrival in SE25 has been Vicente Guaita, the goalkeeper whose summer move was sorted in January.
The Palace faithful are a remarkably understanding bunch, listening to the explanations of transfer instalment hangovers, high net spend, an astronomical wage bill and next to nothing in player sales with patience and sympathy for those behind the scenes but it doesn’t stop thousands quite rightly wondering how, heading into our sixth consecutive season in the Premier League, we find ourselves with such little room for manoeuvre.
There has recently been talk of moves for Roma midfielder Maxime Gonalons, German 22-year-old free agent Max Meyer and West Ham midfielder Cheikhou Kouyaté, all of which hints at the cupboard not being totally bare but in reality, we won’t be spending more than about £10-12 million this summer, which is a dramatic departure to many of our recent windows.
To put things into the simplest perspective possible, we’ve been outlaying money at the rate of a top eight side, despite having the budget of a bottom eight club; a business strategy that is obviously not sustainable in the long-term. The hope is that the core group we already have, strengthened with one or two shrewd additions before the deadline, will give Roy Hodgson enough to keep us afloat for another year, at which time, the budgetary constraints will have loosened somewhat.
We’re lucky to have such an understanding boss willing to fight our corner.