2015/16 Finish: 15
Crystal Palace had a fantastic start to the previous campaign, managing to hang around the European places as late as game week 22. After starting in fine form, Alan Pardew’s men plummeted down the table eventually landing in an uninspiring 15th place in the league. Pardew was linked with the England job for some time, but it seems after the collapse that Palace suffered, he’ll remain at the club.
Transfers In: Mandanda (GK), Townsend (RW), Tomkins (CB)
Crystal Palace have been very deliberate in their transfer dealings this summer. The club identified their targets, pursued and signed them. Mandanda joins the club from Marseille and will add experience and leadership to the squad, having played 334 matches for the French club. The French Goalkeeper has joined for just £1.5m and could prove to be a very shrewd signing.
Townsend signs from relegated Newcastle, after only joining them in January. The ex-Spurs winger will provide yet another option on the wings for Pardew, who already has Zaha, Bolasie and Sako in the squad. Townsend is direct and pacey, which will compliment Alan Pardew’s style.
James Tomkins has joind from West Ham United and will offer some much needed cover at the back.
Transfers Out: Sold: Gayle (FW), Gray (CM), Alex McCarthy (GK), Binnom-Williams (LB) Released: Adebayor (FW), Chamakh (FW), Hangeland (CB), Mariappa (RB), Patrick McCaarthy (CB)
Palace’s outs have been great business. Cutting the dead-weight and being heftily compensated for the departure of Dwight Gayle in the form of £10m from Newcastle. Even with Gayle gone, Crystal Palace have plenty of wide men to go around.
Adebayor, Chamakh and Hangeland have all departed Selhurst Park. The concern is a lack of striking options, but Pardew may continue to utilize Bolasie in that role. Regardless, it was time for Palace to cut their losses with these three players and start fresh.
Key Player(s): Scott Dann and Yohan Cabaye
Scott Dann is as much a rock at the back as he is a goal scoring threat from set pieces. The big central defender managed to end the season as joint top scorer (5) for the London club in the Premier League. Scott Dann is more than just a big, kick it away center back, he is good with his feet and has decent technical ability. It’s very surprising to me that he hasn’t been pursued by any bigger clubs as he consistently performs well in an otherwise average Crystal Palace squad.
If you’re anything like us, you’re were probably a little shocked when you heard the news that Yohan Cabaye decided to move from PSG to Crystal Palace. The French midfielder is a top talent who has plied his trade with some of the best in the world. Now, he’s plying his trade next to Mile Jedinak and James McArthur… Cabaye occupies the deep-lying playmaker role in the middle of the park for Palace. Yohan managed 5 goals and 1 assist in 33 matches for the club last season, but his passing and vision is more key than it seems. Palace’s record transfer led the club in most successful passes (984) interceptions (113), and tackles (75).
If Cabaye and Dann can continue performing, it is tough to count Crystal Palace out of any match.
Predicted 2016/17 Finish: 11
Crystal Palace have a good chance to make a statement this upcoming year, but we believe they still need that final piece of the puzzle at striker. The club has been heavily linked with Christian Benteke, but the rumors have quieted down for now. If Benteke, or a striker of a similar ilk, joins Palace, they have a good chance to push even further up the table than last season. As things stand, however, we have Palace finishing in a respectable 11th place.