Palace Academy Striker Completes Permanent Move To Sweden

0 Posted by - December 17, 2018 - News

Crystal Palace youth product Francis Jno Baptiste will leave the club permanently for Swedish outfit Östersunds FK in January, subject to the subsequent passing of a medical.

Having spent six years on the club’s books, Baptiste will be known to plenty of the Palace fans who take an active interest in the goings on at the academy but at 19 and seemingly nowhere close to making his first-team debut, it’s hard to argue that a fresh start isn’t the best thing for Francis’ long-term career prospects.

Clearly a player with an eye for goal, Baptiste has netted an impressive 26 goals over the last two seasons but is clearly still well off the level deemed necessary to be considered for a place in the Premier League, with the chance to join Östersunds, an upwardly mobile if nowhere near as pressurized environment, seen as too good to turn down by the player and his representatives.

Östersunds shot to prominence in the UK after reaching the Europa League knockout stages under the guidance of Graham Potter last season; a run which saw the boss given the Swansea City job soon after. Now managed by fellow Englishman Ian Burchnall, the Swedes will be hoping to replicate recent successes with further cheap, if fruitful signings from across the continent.

Baptiste himself deserves immense credit for being open to the idea of moving abroad in search of regular first-team football rather than settling for the relative comfort of a Premier League academy. Hopefully he makes our coaches eat their words by bagging a hatful of goals in Scandinavia, proving himself to be a worthy professional in the process.

I wish him the best of luck.

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3 Comments

  • Jose Fonte, baby? Jose Fonte, oh, oh, oh December 17, 2018 - 11:41 am Reply

    Seems like a really good opportunity for a young player to develop and kick on. However, given our goal scoring woes, i’m surprised that Baptiste hasn’t been given a chance with the seniors.

    He often seemed to go on great scoring streaks and was a more natural finisher than Daly. However, Paddy and Richard Shaw don’t seem to rate him (think he had trials at West Ham a year or so ago) and he rarely starts.

    Good luck to the lad but would like to see academy players given more of a chance. Especially if Jordan Ayew can get a game.

  • Eaglecoops December 17, 2018 - 12:30 pm Reply

    Couldn’t agree more. The one thing a young player will bring is bundles of energy and after watching Sorloth drag himself around the pitch at half speed and Ayew being totally ineffective surely it is time to give a youngster half a game at least.

    Problem is, Roy is a traditionalist and likes seasoned pros in his sides. The fact that Puncheon actually appears anywhere near a premier league pitch is proof of this.

  • Gordon December 18, 2018 - 9:14 am Reply

    I’m a great supporter of our investment in the Academy. Wan-Bissaka’s rise to “stardom” shows how valuable it is for clubs like ours. But why do we let young talent slip through our fingers by letting them go on permanent rather than loan deals? Other clubs zealously guard their contractual rights to players they’ve developed, whether they have first team opportunities for them or not. I for one will be gutted if in a couple of years time this guy becomes a PL regular with another club.

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