According to a report in the Evening Standard, Crystal Palace’s continuing search for a new striker could well lead them back to Everton frontman Oumar Niasse, with the limited funds available making it difficult for them to source anyone of standout quality in the January window.
Whilst a deal for Dominic Solanke was thought to be on the verge of happening at the very start of 2019, concerns over the 21-year-old’s immediate fitness seemingly forced the Eagles to pull out of the move, leaving Bournemouth free to swoop in and take the former Chelsea man off Liverpool’s hands. It was a blow for our supporters at the time but one that many assumed meant we had plenty of other irons in the fire; frustratingly, this most recent update would suggest otherwise.
With Niasse out of favour under Marco Silva’s guidance at Goodison Park, it’s a transfer that could well end up going through if there is a genuine willingness to get it done on Palace’s part but it’s hardly the sort of deal which guarantees Roy Hodgson the sort of goal return he’s been so badly craving since the start of the 2018/19 campaign. In the board’s defence, we do already have Christian Benteke, Connor Wickham, Alexander Sørloth and Jordan Ayew on the books, who despite failing to score many goals in the last 12 months, represent a significant financial outlay on the club’s part.
Admittedly, there is real hope that Benteke, back from an operation on a knee which has been troubling him hugely for more than a year, may well be the link we’ve been missing all along but with his 17-goal debut season in red and blue now no longer fresh in the minds of supporters, the assumption from many is that we need to spend to be sure of adding goals to our game between now and May.
Quite how much Palace would have to part with to take Niasse off the Toffees hands is up for debate but given the struggles he’s endured in the North West, you can’t imagine the asking price would be much more than £5 million. At that sort of mark is he worth a punt? I’ll leave you to decide.