Connect with us

Crystal Palace

What will Mamadou Sakho’s bring on his return to Crystal Palace?

Published

on

Sakho

It was arguably one of the longest-running ‘will he, won’t he’ transfer stories since the transfer window opened, but Crystal Palace finally confirmed the arrival of Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho.

The 27-year-old was an inspired loan addition at Selhurst Park towards the end of last season, almost single-handedly lifting spirits around the club and helping Palace narrowly avoid relegation.

Who is Mamadou Sakho?

He’s a man that surely needs no introduction for Palace fans.

Signed by Sam Allardyce in the January transfer window, Sakho made an immediate impact at Crystal Palace and led them to an unprecedented five clean sheets – and five wins – in just eight appearances.

Unfortunately for him his season was ended early after picking up a severe knee damage against Tottenham but his impact had been telling and, equally important, had left a mark on Palace fans.

His short spell at Selhurst Park has seemingly rejuvenated his career after falling down the pecking order at Anfield following a fall-out with Jurgen Klopp, being an outcast for the first four months of last season.

Prior to that he had enjoyed a successful spell as part of the Paris Saint-German set-up, spending seven seasons in France after rising through the youth ranks, and he won the Ligue 1 title in 2013.

His impressive performances at the heart of PSG’s defence only alerted the attention of other European giants and, despite it ending sourly at Liverpool, he has the chance to prove himself now.

What is the deal?

According to Crystal Palace’s website in the early hours of the morning, Sakho will arrive at Selhurst Park on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

Where will Sakho fit in at Selhurst Park?

Frank de Boer has already made some smart additions on paper this summer, bringing in Jairo Riedewald from Ajax and Timothy Fosu-Mensah from Manchester United to strengthen Palace’s defensive options, but neither of them have the vast experience that Sakho’s arrival can provide.

He showed last season exactly the type of player he is, bringing a no-nonsense and brilliant yet unorthodox manner of defending to Selhurst Park, and he’ll no doubt aim to pick up where he left off.

Who De Boer chooses to play alongside him in the heart of defence is anyone’s guess at the moment but all Palace will care about for now is having an imposing – and proven – figure to turn their form around.

What was the reaction to the switch?

Talking to the Palace website about his return, Sakho said:

“I am really happy to be here because I have some friends here. I loved the challenge last year; it was difficult but beautiful and it’s why this summer I thought that Palace was the best choice.

“I am really excited about playing for the Palace fans again, but in football the past is the past and you need to think about today and tomorrow. Last year we did a good job and we need to prove that again and have a good objective. If we put all of our power together, we will have a great season.”

Will is a Multimedia Journalism graduate from the University of Salford, specialising in the art of sports. Long-time suffering Northampton Town fan who once saw us win a league title. Find him on Twitter - @96PearsonW.

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace will be kicking themselves over Mandela Egbo

The England youth international left Crystal Palace in 2015.

Mathew Coull

Published

on

Young English winger Keanan Bennetts made the news this week, by completing a move to German side Borussia Monchengladbach. The 19-year-old turned his back on Tottenham Hotspur in order to make the move to Germany, a move that is becoming more and more regular.

Jadon Sancho, Ryan Kent and Reece Oxford all played in the Bundesliga this season, whilst Ademola Lookman was on fire for RB Leipzig by the end of the campaign.

But one young man who did the same thing will surely be leaving a sour taste in the mouth at Crystal Palace.

The player in question is 20-year-old defender Mandela Egbo. He is now one of Bennetts’ new team-mates at Gladbach and will no doubt be helping his fellow Londoner settle in the North Rhine-Westphalia.

(Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Hackney-born Egbo started his career at Crystal Palace. He swiftly rose through the ranks at the club and looked like a genuine talent for his country as well. Egbo was a member of the England squad that won the European Under-17 Championships back in 2014.

But in 2015 he decided he wanted to leave Crystal Palace. The defender joined Gladbach, where he played with their B team and saw a clearer pathway toward first-team football.

Egbo has since gone on to make his Bundesliga debut and Palace fans will realise they are now missing out on a real talent.

At 20-years-old he now appears to have matured into a very talented footballer. He simply felt that rather than getting a chance at Palace, the Eagles would always buy a new defender instead of giving him a shot.

(Photo by Raquel Costa/Getty Images)

Undoubtedly, it looks as though this has been a good career move for Egbo. Palace, on the other hand, will be disappointed they never managed to keep him in London.

Roy Hodgson would have been delighted to have a player of Egbo’s natural quality available to him in the Palace squad for next season.

Whilst fans at Selhurst Park will be gutted Egbo is not an Eagle anymore, they will no doubt wish him all the best in the Bundesliga. And who knows? Maybe, one day, Egbo will make a return to his boyhood club.

Continue Reading

Crystal Palace

Wilfried Zaha would be an underwhelming signing for Liverpool

Published

on

Photo: Getty Images.

Liverpool have become the latest top six club to be linked with Crystal Palace ace Wilfried Zaha as the Liverpool Echo included the Reds as one of many sides believed to be chasing the Ivory Coast winger.

However, if the club do make a move for the 25-year-old, it would show a lack of ambition after what many have perceived to be a season of progress as Liverpool have reached the Champions League final whilst retaining their top four spot.

On paper, a wideman with strength and pace who scores goals would be ready-made for Jurgen Klopp’s attacking set-up and could provide a much needed rotation option alongside the likes of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane up-front.

Despite that, it would be a huge gamble to invest in Zaha. One reason for that is that he has showed his best form at Selhurst Park in the second half of 2017/18 as Roy Hodgson gave the winger a free role in attack, allowing him freedom to switch between flanks and centrally in a number ten role.

(during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool at Selhurst Park on March 31, 2018 in London, England.

At Anfield, Zaha would not possess such an option, and if he tried to maintain many of the key traits of his game of cutting inside and drifting around near the opposition box, he would be standing on the toes of established regulars like Salah and Firmino.

Then there is the concern over Zaha’s ability to adapt. His previous spell at Manchester United hinted at the fact that he has struggled with the associated pressure of being at a big club like Liverpool or their north-western rivals, which will be a concern for any club paying the astronomical transfer fee that Crystal Palace would demand for his services.

The winger has undoubted potential, but as Champions League finalists and with money to spend, Liverpool can afford to go after established stars rather than taking expensive gambles on unproven men who have a history of inconsistency.

Continue Reading

Crystal Palace

West Ham can’t afford to lose Michail Antonio to Crystal Palace

Published

on

Photo: Getty Images.

Uncertainty surrounds West Ham United as a summer rollercoaster looks inevitable with big changes on and off the field. That is starting with a change in the dug-out, where The Times say that former Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is favourite to replace David Moyes. The club could pay a heavy price though, with Michail Antonio potentially at risk.

The Guardian say that London rivals Crystal Palace are looking to do their transfer business early and could pounce on the chaos at the London Stadium to poach the winger away from the Hammers.

The former Sheffield Wednesday man missed much of the 2017/18 season with on and off injuries from bruised ribs to calf strains and a pulled hamstring, which may suggest that now could be the right time to cash in on the explosive 28-year-old who relies on physicality and dynamic pace.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images,)

Yet despite that, West Ham cannot afford to be tempted into selling. Despite being sidelined by injury at various points throughout the season, when fit Antonio was always one of the first names on the team sheet under both Slaven Bilic and David Moyes.

Antonio’s tenacity and determination shows why a new manager, whether it is Pellegrini or not, should look to build their team around the winger. Able to play in a variety of roles and a real fan favourite, the unpopular Irons board would be taking a huge gamble by allowing Antonio to depart.

It is no surprise that Palace are interested, and had it not been for injury some much more high profile clubs could have come calling, but West Ham must retain the services of Michail Antonio if they are to pursue hopes of pushing for Europe.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2018 The Boot Room.