Crystal Palace declined to extend Bakary Sako’s contract this summer, with the winger signing as a free agent for West Bromwich Albion in early October.
Yet Sako has still not made an appearance for the Baggies, justifying the Eagles’ decision to hold off on re-signing the Mali international.
Sako was lethal at times last season in the Premier League, yet after scoring for fun in the winter, suffered a disappointing injury that ruled him out for the season.
And when the former Palace player joined West Brom, he was not fully fit, with Sako returning to the first team set-up only this week against Derby County.
The winger was named to the bench but did not feature during the Baggies’ 4-1 defeat at the Hawthorns, but will target Saturday’s match against Blackburn as the ideal date for his return.
All in all, it appears Palace made an astute call when they declined to offer Sako a new contract, as the Eagles could hardly afford to wait until late October for the attacker to return to full fitness.
Roy Hodgson now has more funds to work with in January, and will hopefully bring in a talent that is substantially younger and fitter than the injury-prone 30-year-old.