Not many people will thank me for that title, just as I don’t thank Leicester City for theirs.
I’m not going to rant about how expectations for smaller clubs – and whether we like it or not – Palace are a small Premier League club – have increased. Unreasonably in most cases. I would like to think our owners and board are realistic enough to know that last season was the exception not the norm.
It isn’t wrong to have expectations, we all should have them, but they need to be tempered by the reality of what is genuinely achievable.
But Leicester’s triumph which makes them 28/1 this season in the Premier League betting, whilst one in the eye for the big clubs, has utterly screwed Palace in this transfer window.
United, City and Chelsea have all appointed new managers. Had they been inheriting squads who had finished in the top four, their spend would have been reasonable and not disproportionate compared with previous years.
Now, with United and Chelsea having to make up a lot of ground – City a little less – in the title race, the transfer market has gone mad. It was skewed already; we were odds on to sign Michy Batshuayi until Chelsea’s intervention. Commendable as Steve Parish’s dealings were, we’re still hunting for a striker and we don’t have £63m for Alvaro Morata.
£31.5 for Batshuayi, a million more for Benteke; it’s just bizarre, especially where the Belgian is involved. Would Alan Pardew be able to recover Benteke’s form, bringing his goal-per-game record down to 1 in 3 or better, instead of the 1 in 4 he has achieved at Anfield?
I don’t know about you but I want a lot better for £30m+. Leicester, thanks.
With the bigger clubs flooding the market in search of anything that moves or anyone with a pulse, the continental clubs think we are all a bottomless pit of money.
United paying £105m for Paul Pogba? God knows how other clubs are viewing the Premier League finances at the moment but if we go shopping overseas, we can expect to pay through the nose.
The concern I have is that we are struggling. Last season, we were struggling in front of goal, now we’re struggling to solve that problem. We’ve been linked with Islam Slimani of Sporting Lisbon and he seems a decent player. A goal every other game in Portugal hints at a modicum of talent.
But at what price? He was linked with Arsenal not so long ago and I doubt we will be quoted much different were we to enquire on his availability. The fundamental problem is, I think, a dearth of decent players.
We’re in a talent trough. They happen occasionally but when you’ve only scored 39 goals in 38 games during the previous season, it couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Getting a good striker for a decent price is harder work than it seems on paper.
Value for money, something we all search for in our everyday lives, is a loose concept in football. Still, it could be worse. We might be offering £30m for Yaya Sanogo…