Crystal Palace defender Pape Souare may well be on his way towards the exit door in SE25 according to recent reports, given the fact that his contract is set to expire at the end of the current season.
The 28-year-old Senegal international was playing regularly for the Eagles prior to the horrific car-crash he had in September of 2016 on the M4 motorway. The immediate aftermath saw him diagnosed with serious injuries to both his thigh and jawbone, raising questions as to whether he’d ever play professionally again but to his huge credit, Pape returned to full training just 11 months after what was unquestionably a near-death experience.
Unfortunately for him, his absence saw the club strengthen significantly at left-back with the signings of both Patrick van Aanholt and Jeffrey Schlupp, with the former going on to nail down the starting spot in Roy Hodgson’s XI since the gaffer’s arrival just over a year ago. It’s not that Souaré is a bad footballer, he just doesn’t have the necessary attributes to dislodge the Dutchman and as such, is struggling to get any game-time whatsoever in red and blue.
With plenty of years still ahead of him, Pape could easily find himself as part of the first-team picture in an upwardly mobile Championship club, should he decide to make the leap in the January window. It goes without saying that I and thousands of others would be sad to see him go but aside from the emotional attachment we share with him, there must be a sense of reality over his long-term hopes of appearing regularly in the gaffer’s team selections.
Given the trauma he’s battled through whilst part of Crystal Palace, Pape will always have an emotional tie with us but if he does decide to move on, he’s likely to do so with everyone’s blessing. I just hope he can find a club willing to give him the left-back slot he so desperately wants.