Crystal Palace’s search for a new striker in January is already well underway but when being quizzed over the feasibility of a move for Arsenal frontman Danny Welbeck on Friday, Eagles boss Roy Hodgson played it down.
Mere hours later, the former Manchester United man was in action for the Gunners in their Europa League clash with Sporting Lisbon, sustaining an ankle injury which, as pictures have shown, looks like it could easily keep him out of action for months.
It’s a cruel blow for the 27-year-old, whose contract at The Emirates is set to expire this summer. With Unai Emery believed to be willing to let the England man move on to pastures new, a switch across London in January had seemed feasible but thanks to what is sure to be a prolonged spell on the treatment table, it now seems highly likely that Roy Hodgson and his scouting network will turn their gaze elsewhere.
Predictably, the Palace gaffer was extremely coy when being asked about specific transfer targets yesterday afternoon but in Welbeck, they at least would have had the building blocks of the sort of striker we should be looking to bring in. Admittedly, Danny has never been the most prolific but he is a willing runner with intelligent movement. In a side such as ours, having someone of that ilk leading the line could and should make a major difference to our fortunes as we continue to battle against relegation.
Could we make a play for Welbeck in the summer? If we manage to survive the drop again I don’t see why not. Some balked at the idea of parting with £10 million for but on a free transfer, it could work out to be a fantastic piece of business on our part.
Keep it in mind between now and the end of the campaign; there may still be legs in this one yet.