Crystal Palace striker Alexander Sorloth joined Belgian side Gent on loan this week, just under a year after he completed a multi-million pound move to Selhurst Park.
Although the decision to loan Sorloth out after a disappointing opening year was a frustrating admission of the striker’s shortcomings, Roy Hodgson delivered a convincing justification of the club’s thought process.
During the Palace manager’s pre-match conference on Friday, Hodgson said the loan move presented a chance for Sorloth to regain his confidence and get regular playing time, in the hopes of the forward returning to SE25 a better player.
“We made what I think is the correct decision for him to go and play at Gent for his former manager; he will be one of the first names on the team sheet there and playing every week,” Hodgson said in comments reported by football.london. “I think that is absolutely what he needs at this moment in time, and he also needs for it to make him a better player for us at the end of the loan spell.”
Rather than a sign that Palace are already giving up on Sorloth, Hodgson positioned the move as a way to cultivate the striker’s talent and invest in his future potential.
Hopefully for Crystal Palace, Alexander Sorloth’s Belgian loan spell can inspire the Norwegian to become the key goalscorer Palace expected they were signing last winter.