Football Season Guide

Crystal Palace


Jordan Ayew (att) Swansea – loan made permanent; Stephen Henderson (gk) Nottingham Forest; Jaroslaw Jach (def) Sheriff – end of loan; Alexander Sorloth (att) KAA Gent – end of loan;


Aaron Wan-Bissaka (r) (def) Man United; Michy Batshuayi (r) (att) Chelsea – end of loan; Jason Puncheon (sp) (mid) released; Julian Speroni (gk) released; Lucas Perri (gk) Sao Paulo – end of loan; Bakary Sako (mid) Denizlispor;

The oldest manager in the Premier League, Roy Hodgson, made Palace play some solid football last term, and without being hugely impressive, the Eagles had a calm campaign that saw them stay out of trouble throughout. Hodgson’s ways are likely to continue bringing stability on the pitch no matter what happens on the transfer market, but at the time of writing it seems as if the group of players will be weaker this season. Main right-back Wan-Bissaka left for Man United, while Palace’s talisman Zaha seems destined to join another team too. Investing some of the money on new players could still happen, but even without doing so Palace continue to have a decent squad. Last season the main issue was the low conversion rate, scored with only 4.2% of the shots attempted, and doing a better job with their chances is a must. If Zaha leaves, Benteke could be restored as the main target man in attack, with the Belgian coming off a difficult few years, but with proven qualities, and capable of scoring 20+ goals in the Premier League if used well. Townsend should get much more freedom up front, plus German wonderkid Meyer could become very important too after a year of settling. Milivojevic is as solid a holding midfielder as they come. Palace will continue relying on the wins achieved at home, and if they are able to convert more of their chances they should enjoy another calm year under the supervision of wise-man Hodgson.


Crystal Palace aim to finish around 10th–12th place, and even if they don’t achieve it, the Eagles should have enough in themselves to stay out of trouble.