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Crystal Palace should resist the signing of Stoke midfielder Joe Allen

Max Cohen

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Joe Allen
Photo: Getty Images

Reports this week in The Guardian suggested that Crystal Palace have registered interest in signing Joe Allen following Stoke City’s relegation.

Further reports in The Sun claimed the Potters are seeking £20 million for the Welsh international, a hefty price tag that should deter Palace, as they already have sufficient options in the centre of midfield.

During the 2017/18 campaign, Yohan Cabaye, Luka Milivojevic, and James McArthur have all been excellent for the south Londoners.

Between the three, the midfielders have contributed 15 goals and three assists in the Premier League- impressive numbers considering Palace’s goal-shy start to the season under Frank de Boer.

In addition, Chelsea loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek was a commanding presence in midfield at Selhurst Park. Even though injury hampered his year, the Englishman left his mark at Palace and should be targeted for a permanent deal this year.

(during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield on April 28, 2018 in Liverpool, England.

It is clear that the Eagles have a wealth of options in the centre of the park, and their midfield repertoire was given a boost this week when the Evening Standard reported the club was confident that Cabaye would sign a new contract this summer.

With the influential Frenchman securing his future at Selhurst Park, there is simply no need for the services of Joe Allen in SE25.

Add in the Welshman’s exorbitant £20 million price-tag (which is £7 million more than Palace paid for Cabaye in 2015), it would be a foolish decision for Roy Hodgson to buy the midfielder.

Crystal Palace should resist the urge to splurge for Joe Allen, as money would be best spent on purchasing a top-class striker rather than bolstering an already-impressive midfield.

Max is a journalist studying at the University of Pennsylvania. Max specialises in English football and co-hosts a weekly podcast. He is also a politics reporter and deputy news editor for The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Crystal Palace

Wilfried Zaha’s new Crystal Palace deal can keep Eagles soaring

The Ivory Coast international has signed a new deal until 2023.

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Photo: Getty Images

A lengthy summer transfer window ended with a sigh of relief for Crystal Palace fans, as Wilfried Zaha remained in south London for the 2018-19 season.

Linked with Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, the Ivory Coast international remained loyal to the Eagles and has since been rewarded with a lucrative new contract that runs until 2023 – with the club confirming the new deal on Wednesday.

Since *that* disappointing time with Manchester United, Zaha has found his home at Selhurst Park and securing the 25-year-old to a long-term deal is vital for the club’s plans for the coming years – as shown by a remarkable stat.

Since the start of the 2017-18 season, Crystal Palace failed to win a single point in the 10 Premier League matches that Zaha has not started – compared to the average of 1.62 points a game that the Eagles have picked up with their maestro in the side.

His importance was shown last season when, after a woeful start to the season for the south London side, Zaha led the way in a miraculous revival under Roy Hodgson – scoring nine goals and contributing a further three assists.

Zaha hit the ground running against Fulham, opening his account for the campaign on the season’s first round of fixtures, and keeping his services at the club are more important than any of the summer business Hodgson completed in recent months.

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Crystal Palace

Why Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace selection headache is a desirable one

The Eagles continued their fine Premier League form under Roy Hodgson against Fulham.

Max Cohen

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Roy Hodgson
Photo: Getty Images

After Crystal Palace‘s astute summer transfer business, many expected Roy Hodgson’s side to quickly welcome the new signings into the first team fray.

However, in the Eagles’ Premier League opener against Fulham, none of the four summer arrivals started, and only Cheikhou Kouyate played a part in the match.

Although those decisions were in part due to fitness and lack of training, Roy Hodgson nevertheless faces a selection headache ahead of Palace’s match against Liverpool on Monday.

The desire to stick with last season’s winning formula versus the urge to incorporate summer signings is a tricky situation to navigate, yet it is a positive development for Crystal Palace as it creates competition for spaces and improves squad depth.

The starting XI that dispatched Fulham 2-0 at Craven Cottage was absent of any new signings, with goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey notably getting the nod ahead of Vicente Guaita.

The decision came as a particular surprise as the Standard reported in the build-up to the match that the Spaniard was set to start. Instead, the Welshman kept a clean sheet and turned in a man-of-the-match display.

(Photo by Glyn Kirk/Getty Images)

In this instance, it appears the competition of adding another top-class goalkeeper further propelled Hennessey to perform at a higher level, just one example of why Roy Hodgson has a positive selection headache on his hands.

In central midfield, James McArthur and Luka Milivojevic thrived, with McArthur particularly bright in restricting the play-making qualities of Jean-Michael Seri.

Hodgson brought in Kouyate and Max Meyer to add further reinforcements in central midfield, yet on the evidence of the Fulham match these two new signings may have to wait in order to break into the starting lineup.

Jordan Ayew may also press for inclusion in the coming weeks as he gets to grips with the club, presenting another attacking option for the Eagles.

All four new signings will be raring to go and eager to impress, leaving Hodgson with many difficult calls to make as the season progresses.

Yet, overall, the dilemma is a desirable one, improving the quality of the Crystal Palace squad and creating strength in depth.

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Crystal Palace

Premier League Team of the Week I: Featuring Crystal Palace and Liverpool favourites

Who made The Boot Room’s Team of the Week for Game Week 1?

The Boot Room

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Crystal Palace and Liverpool enjoyed away wins on the opening weekend of the Premier League season while Everton gave newly promoted Wolves a quick reminder of the tough task they face on their return to the top flight.

Following the weekend’s action, The Boot Room picks its six-a-side Team of the Week.


Crystal Palace duo Wayne Hennessey and Aaron Wan-Bissaka make up the defensive line, with both impressing in the Eagles’ 2-0 victory over newly-promoted Fulham.

The former made six saves in-between the sticks to ensure a well-deserved clean sheet, while the latter successfully nullified the attacking threat of the talented Ryan Sessegnon, ensuring last season’s Sky Bet Championship Player of the Year barely had a sniff all game. Meanwhile, he also turned creator for his side’s second goal of the afternoon.

(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Liverpool’s James Milner‘s imperious display ensures him a spot in midfield for the week. As the Reds strolled to a 4-0 victory over West Ham United at Anfield, the 32-year-old dominated proceedings, bettering his peers in seven key areas, including recording more touches of the ball than any other player on the pitch.

Keeping him company in midfield is Wolves talent Ruben Neves. Like Milner, the 21-year-old Portugal star was central to his club’s efforts throughout the opening week. He demonstrated his immense talent and a level of maturity beyond his years as he lead his side to a 2-2 draw, chipping in with a goal and an assist.

In attack, Everton’s Richarlison seems like a man who is clearly going to thrive on the pressure of performing at Goodison Park, at least if his debut for the Toffees is anything to go by. His well-taken brace against Wolves ensured a ten-man Toffees side emerged with a least a point in their first competitive outing under Marco Silva.

Finally, Liverpool star Sadio Mane proved he is not willing to fall quietly into Mohamed Salah’s shadow at Anfield with a terrific week one performance. The Senegalese forward was in red hot form as he netted a superb brace to pick up where he left off last season following his goal in the Champions League Final defeat to Real Madrid.

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