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Crystal Palace

James McArthur should join his boyhood club Rangers this summer

Max Cohen

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Photo: Getty Images

This summer, Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson is planning a major clearing out after the Eagles narrowly avoided relegation from the Premier League.

According to the Daily Mail, 30-year-old midfielder James McArthur is among those who have been deemed surplus to requirements by the former England boss and is on his way out of Selhurst Park.

Linked with Cardiff City, Aston Villa, and Rangers, the Glaswegian central midfielder should make the switch to the club he supported as a youngster and team up with Steven Gerrard at Ibrox.

The move north of the border would be the perfect transfer for both parties involved.

McArthur is a Rangers fan and played for both the Rangers Boy Club and the Rangers Supporters’ club youth team before joining Hamilton Academical in 2003. The Scottish international has strong ties to the Gers and finally playing for his boyhood club would be a dream come true for the midfielder.

In addition, McArthur has much to offer the Scottish club, as he is coming off a fine season in south London.

The midfielder has bagged an impressive seven goals in 34 matches played in all competitions. McArthur is also on a superb vein of recent form, with two goals and one assist in his last two matches.

The Scottish international is one of the major reasons Crystal Palace have avoided the drop, contributing gutsy performances while chipping in with crucial goals in the Eagles’ run-in.

A return to Scottish football would present an enticing opportunity for the former Hamilton player, where McArthur could finally compete for a league title. In his two seasons in the Scottish Premier League with the Accies, McArthur never finished higher than seventh.

Joining forces with newly announced manager Steven Gerrard at Ibrox, the Premier League-quality midfielder could lead Rangers to their first league title since 2011.

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

“I want £267 million for Wilf”: Crystal Palace fans react to Richarlison’s reported fee

The Brazilian looks set for a £50 million move to Everton.

Max Cohen

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Richarlison
Photo: Getty Images

On Friday, BBC Sport reported that Everton were closing in on signing Watford winger Richarlison for a fee that could rise to a total of £50 million.

The news of the fee immediately caught the eye of Crystal Palace supporters, who have been embroiled in a high-stakes transfer saga of their own with Everton.

The Toffees have been a club consistently linked with Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, leading Eagles supporters to scoff at the price attached to Richarlison.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

For many Palace fans, the 21-year-old Brazilian is being overpriced, leading them to value Zaha much higher than the £70 million asking price the south London club had established.

A comparison of the two wingers proves that it is a valid point, as Richarlison has just one year’s experience in the Premier League and is enduring a run of poor form, with his last goal coming in November and his last assist coming in December.

Zaha, on the other hand, is a seasoned Premier League performed and enjoyed a stellar 2017/18 season with nine goals and five assists, despite missing nine matches through injury.

Popular Palace fansite HLTCO seized on this disparity, offering a revised transfer fee for Zaha in light of the Richarlison deal.

Richarlison’s meagre goal-scoring tally was also brought up when marvelling at his transfer fee.

Another Eagles supporter offered up perhaps a more reasonable price for the club’s prized Ivory Coast international.

The confusion over the inflated price was best summed up by a quick recap of Richarlison’s transfer history.

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Crystal Palace

The media obsession with Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha should be ignored

The winger is being heavily linked with a move away from Selhurst Park.

Max Cohen

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Wilfried Zaha
Photo: Getty Images

Ask any Crystal Palace fan their least favourite part of the summer, and one answer will stand out: the endless media obsession about the future of Wilfried Zaha.

After further reports in The Times, Mirror, and The Sun linking the Ivory Coast international with a move away from Selhurst Park, Palace supporters should tune out the noise and focus on the facts of the matter.

Zaha is currently under contract at Selhurst Park, having signed a five-year deal just over a year ago. Despite the rumoured interest from the likes of Everton, Tottenham Hotspur, and Borussia Dortmund, Crystal Palace hold all the cards in the situation.

And, to add to their strong position, manager Roy Hodgson has made it very clear he has no intention of selling the winger when speaking to football.london last week:

“What people seem to forget with Wilf is he has got a four-year contract. There is speculation every year around Messi and Ronaldo too. He is our player for the next four years and the club has got no interest or desire to sell him.”

(during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion at Selhurst Park on May 13, 2018 in London, England.

This strong statement from the Palace manager is the only thing that holds significance with regards to the Zaha saga. At the end of the day, there can be as much speculation and interest from clubs as possible, but if the club is not willing to sell then the player will stay put.

Additionally, the reports that Zaha is unsettled at Palace seem like nothing more than sensational claims. This is a player who expressed his love for the fans and the club as recently as April, talking to the Eagles’ official website after a win against Brighton.

“Crystal Palace is my home town and the support we have here is genuine support with families watching with their kids loving us as players so I don’t really see myself anywhere else.”

In all, one must focus on what is relevant in the Wilfried Zaha transfer saga: the actual words of the figures involved.

With Zaha expressing his happiness and Hodgson making it clear no sale is forthcoming, the media obsession over the winger’s Selhurst Park exit appears unfounded.

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Khouma Babacar would be underwhelming solution to Crystal Palace’s striker problem

The 25-year-old isn’t exactly a prolific goalscorer.

Max Cohen

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Babacar
Photo: Getty Images

According to the Mirror, Crystal Palace are close to completing a £12 million move for Sassuolo striker Khouma Babacar.

The Senegalese forward scored just six goals in the league last season and would represent an underwhelming solution to Crystal Palace’s striker problem.

Last season, the Eagles struggled massively for goals, with only central midfielder Luka Milivojevic reaching double figures in the league. As for strikers, Christian Benteke scored just three goals in a hugely disappointing year, and Alexander Sorloth failed to score in his four appearances.

It is clear the south Londoners desperately need a prolific centre-forward in order to succeed in 2018/19, yet Babacar simply is not the right choice.

(Photo by Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images)

At 25 years of age, he has already been around Italian football for a long time, making his debut for Fiorentina in 2009 as a 16-year-old. Yet he struggled to nail down a starting spot and spent time on loan in Serie B and La Liga before enjoying a breakout season for Fiorentina 2016/17.

In that year, he banged in 10 goals in 22 league appearances while also netting four times in the Europa League. Yet disappointingly, he scored just four times in the first half of 2017/18, before being shipped off to Sassuolo on loan where he found the net on just two occasions in 13 appearances.

Far from an outstanding goalscorer in Italy, it is unclear where Babacar would fit in at Palace, and it is unlikely he could turn around the fortunes of the club’s struggling strike force.

Roy Hodgson would do well to pass on the signing of the £12 million Senegalese international and focus his efforts on a more proven striker with a better goal record.

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