He may not be grabbing the sort of headlines Wilfried Zaha has in the opening weeks of the 2018/19 Premier League season but Andros Townsend is now an established name in the Eagles’ starting XI, prompting the club to prepare a new contract for the former Tottenham man.
Initially making the switch to Selhurst Park from Newcastle following the Magpies relegation to the Championship in the summer of 2016, Andros struggled to make an immediate impact. His time in the North East had seen him firing goals in on a regular basis but shortly after moving back to London, it was clear that his confidence was nowhere near as high.
Looking back now, it’s obvious that he and Alan Pardew were far from a match made in heaven with the methods used by the former Palace boss failing to light a fire under the Tottenham academy graduate’s backside. Luckily for both he and the club, the next man into the Palace hot-seat (Sam Allardyce) got him playing to his full potential once more.
In truth, the start of Allardyce’s reign set Andros upon a path from which he has never looked back from in the eyes of the Palace faithful. Could he have chipped in with more goals during his time with us? Unquestionably. Does that stop us appreciating his tireless work-rate and football intelligence? Not in the slightest.
In a tactical set-up which is heavily geared towards getting the best out of Wilfried Zaha on the opposite flank, Townsend is willing to do the hard yards to give the team a solid chance of winning from week to week. Blessed with tremendous stamina, the England international has built up quite a partnership with the always impressive Wan-Bissaka on the right, prompting the 20-year-old to speak about the help he receives from Andros during games, as he gets to grips with the different challenges posed in the top flight.
I doubt you’ll be able to find many Palace fans who aren’t elated at the prospect of Townsend extending his stay in SE25. The wide-man has carved out a niche for himself in red and blue and is clearly happy in his work; playing just eight games fewer for us in three seasons than he managed at boyhood club Tottenham in an eight-year stint. Long may it continue.