As Newcastle’s promotional push continues, fans continue to think about which players they could sign for next season. I have seen everything from Wayne Rooney, to Daniel Sturridge to Luke Shaw, but knowing Newcastle, they will be unwilling to splash the cash (as much as I would love to sign Luke Shaw).
Instead, the much more Mike Ashley thing to do would be to look at clubs being relegated from the Premier League and poach players from those teams who want to stay in the top division. Let’s look at the best options from the teams currently in the bottom five of the table. We will be doing this over the next five days. Today we will evaluate Crystal Palace.
This team offers a handful of options. Most notably is the one that Newcastle almost brought back in January. Andros Townsend would fill a void likely created when Yoan Gouffran is dropped next season. It would be surprising to see Gouffran continue to start back in the Premier League. He would probably cost a decent amount, but I think the desire to return is real on the part of Townsend. The price tag over the summer was rumored to be somewhere in the £15 million range. That number could even dip a little if Palace looks to take whatever money they can knowing it will miss out on Premier League funds. I wouldn’t be surprised if this one happened.
Another possibility could be landing the struggling Christian Benteke. The Belgian international hasn’t scored for Palace since January, but does have nine Premier League goals to his name this season. Even if he has been off, he is still powerful and if set up well, he could really flourish in Rafa Benitez’s lone striker system. Keep in mind that he has scored at least nine goals in the Prem every year since he joined Aston Villa back in 2012. If he continues his run of poor form through the end of the season, bringing him to Tyneside might not take much money.
One that might be more of a stretch would be Wilfried Zaha. The 24-year-old has been one of the best offensive players for Sam Allardyce’s club. With five goals and six assists in 24 Premier League performances, his production would possibly make him even more expensive than Townsend. A player of his caliber should stay in the Premier League, but I could see a mid-table club spending a little cash to land him. If the Magpies sign Townsend, then this deal wouldn’t be necessary.
Those are the best options from Crystal Palace. Remember to check in tomorrow to read about Swansea City.