Despite New Deal, Palace Defender Is Being Linked With WBA Move

0 Posted by - August 13, 2018 - News

He may have only just put pen to paper on a new deal but Palace defender Joel Ward is being linked with a move to West Bromwich Albion this morning, thanks in large part to his personal relationship with Baggies boss Darren Moore.

28-year-old Ward has been on Palace’s books since 2012, playing a key role for the club in both their promotion to the Premier League and subsequent six-year stay but after failing to make it off Roy Hodgson’s bench for the Eagles’ opening day 2-0 victory away at Fulham, Birmingham’s local press are wondering whether or not a bid for his services would be given serious consideration.

Ward knows both Darren Moore and Linvoy Primus through his work with the Christian charity Faith and Football, prompting speculation that a link-up may well be on the cards but at this stage of the season, I struggle to see the Palace hierarchy being all that open to the prospect of letting Ward fly the nest.

Throughout the 2017/18 campaign, Roy Hodgson, Steve Parish and the Palace faithful were aware of our lack of depth in certain areas of the squad; an issue which gave rise to Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s breakthrough into the first-team during the latter stages of the campaign. Now, with Ward and Martin Kelly offering experienced cover for the 20-year-old, it feels as though we’re set for the season.

I dare say Ward himself would love to be starting every week but he’s not a fool and will have seen the quality of performance Wan-Bissaka has been putting in since making his debut in late February as a sign of the need for him to up his game if he has serious hopes of winning back the shirt. If he wasn’t happy about the prospect of sitting behind Aaron in the pecking order I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have put pen to paper on a new deal this summer.

We’ll see how this one develops over the next week or so.

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2 Comments

  • TonyN August 13, 2018 - 7:06 am Reply

    He would likely lose out financially if he left. The wages he would expect may be more than WBA are willing to pay him. Time will tell though and come Xmas will probably have a better idea of where we stand.

  • Gordon August 13, 2018 - 7:15 am Reply

    There were some raised eyebrows when Ward (& Hennessey for that matter) were offered new contracts after their contracts expired at the end of June, but I’m happy with Ward as back-up for W-B. Looking back, I don’t think W-B ever started a match when Ward was available last season. Right from the off, Roy’s selected him in preference to Ward this season & after that performance he must surely have claimed his right to being first choice. But I can’t see us loaning Ward out. He’s needed as back-up. Even if Kelly can play RB (& I don’t rate him as highly as Ward), he’s also needed as a make-shift CB to cover for injuries/suspensions whilst Dann is still out.
    So pleased Hennessey signed a new contract. He was outstanding on Sat. Without him we could easily have been 3 down inside 30 mins.

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