Alexander Sørloth has struggled to establish himself in Palace’s first-team since making the move from F.C. Midtjylland back in January and after heading back to his native Norway at the start of the international break, the striker has spoken in the press of his frustrating in south London.
After enjoying a truly meteoric rise to prominence, Alexander was no doubt hoping to go straight into Roy Hodgson’s starting XI but for a myriad of reasons, the youngster hasn’t been given minutes in the first-team. Whilst hopes were initially high for him (the fee we shelled out was proof of that) he hasn’t quite had the impact we were first expecting, leading the gaffer to leave him on the bench for the most part.
With Christian Benteke having suffered a knee injury which will keep him out until the New Year, Alex was clearly hopeful of getting a decent run in the side but Hodgson has chosen to use Jordan Ayew as our lone striker instead; a move which has understandably left the Norway international feeling rather downbeat about the progress he’s made since joining the club.
Whether or not you agree with his decision to go public over his feelings of frustration in the Norwegian press, I for one do have sympathy for him, giving the hope and excitement he will have felt when completing his move to the Premier League less than 12 months ago. It’s a steep learning curve for any player but given his age and relative lack of experience, it was always going to be an extremely tough ask for him to get up to speed immediately.
It’s difficult to say whether or not there’s enough potential within his game for him to one day carve out a successful Premier League career, based on the minutes he’s had in red and blue to date. For the most part, he’s looked a tad clumsy, giving me the impression that he’s over-trying when attempting to win the ball back and subsequently giving away needless fouls in the process; one of which, away at Bournemouth, ended up costing us a point.
With any striker, confidence plays a huge role in their chances of success and with such little trust being shown in the 22-year-old, it should come as little surprise to see him struggling and vocalising that sense of annoyance. Is the solution simply to play him from the start in the hope of him finding form or are we better served by waiting to loan him out in January away from the intense glare of the Premier League? I’m torn if truth be told.
One thing I am sure of is the need for another striker being added to the squad in January, whether or not I see that wish being granted remains to be seen.