Having struggled massively for first-team minutes throughout his time at Selhurst Park, Norwegian striker Alexander Sørloth recently agreed to a two-year loan deal with Turkish club Trabzonspor and it’s fair to say that the change of scenery has served him well.
Still only 23, the terms of his switch to Turkey will see him stay there until his contract in SE25 expires but with the big man having netted three goals in his first three games over there, plenty of Palace fans have been left confused and frustrated.
— Ahmet Güzel 🇹🇷 (@ahmetgzl06) August 18, 2019
Last night, there were one or two people suggesting that the standard of Turkish football was to blame but with both of his first two goals having come in Europa League qualifiers, the stance that Alex has now “found his level” falls on deaf ears with me. Quite clearly, the striker we brought in at the start of 2018 had potential, he’d shown enough of it to convince our back-room team that he was worth £8 million but for a multitude of reasons, his stay in south London failed to bring goals.
It’s been a similar story with each and every one of our strikers (barring Michy Batshuayi) since the arrival of Roy Hodgson if truth be told. I have a huge amount of time for the current Palace boss but when examining our general performances under him, it’s clear to see that the system he works on relies on players across the XI chipping in with their fair share rather than playing to the strengths of one or two goal-scorers at the head of the side.
Everyone knows that Christian Benteke’s run of form in front of goal has gone from worrying to downright baffling over the last 12 months and with no real guarantees that Connor Wickham will even remain fit in the 2019/20 campaign, our decision to let Sørloth leave without bringing in a replacement was a call which simply didn’t seem to have any logical thinking behind it.
If the big Norwegian continues to score goals at the same rate whilst we continue to fire blanks, you can be sure there will be countless cries to recall him as soon as possible but even if that was a feasible option, I’m not completely convinced we’d manage to keep him confident and scoring in red and blue.
If anyone has an answer to our woes in the final third, please let the coaching staff know ahead of Saturday’s trip to Old Trafford.