According to a report in the Daily Mail (I know it can be incredibly unreliable) Palace are willing to let five of their current first-team players leave the club before the transfer market closes completely at the end of the month.
Whilst having a great deal of depth to a squad is always welcome, there are a number of players currently on the books in SE25 who are unlikely to feature much if at all between now and May, prompting Roy Hodgson and those working with him behind the scenes to scour the market for willing takers before it’s too late.
FA Cup Final goalscorer and former club captain Jason Puncheon has been named in the report as someone who is being prepped for the exit door, despite his continuing warm relationship with the Eagles faithful. An injury on New Year’s Eve of 2017 coupled with his recent court case have seen Punch drop out of the first-team picture completely, leaving many wondering where his future lies. Personally, I’d like to see him kept in case of another injury crisis but as things stand, I can understand why the gaffer is open to letting him move away.
Jonny Williams is another fan-favourite listed, with the Welsh international also struggling to break into a midfield that is now packed with quality. Whilst no one has ever doubted the little man’s talent, his injury record has left him unable to build up any sense of momentum in red and blue since our return to the Premier League, with another loan move seemingly the best option for him if he is looking for game-time in the short term.
The other names mentioned are Pape Souare, whose lengthy recovery from a horrific car-crash prompted the purchases of Jeffrey Schlupp and Patrick van Aanholt in his position, pushing him ruthlessly down the pecking order; Jairo Riedewald, a Frank de Boer signing from Ajax, who has undeniable quality but has had numerous question marks placed over his general fitness level since pre-season began and Sullay Kaikai, who has never quite managed to convince the boss to give him a chance to impress in a Premier League clash after graduating from the club’s academy.
I doubt we’ll see all five men leave before the window closes but you’d imagine one or two will definitely be moving on. Ideally, I’d like to keep each and every one of them on our books but football is a business and as highly-paid assets, it would be foolish to keep them sitting on the sidelines week after week.
Watch this space.