A major change to the squad was pretty much expected at Selhurst Park as they took steps to ensure their survival in the second half of the season. Alan Pardew had essentially handed over an incomplete squad to Sam Allardyce and the former England boss looks to have done a brilliant job in modifying it.
The Eagles didn’t have so many problems up front compared to their shaky defence that repeatedly kept them on the back foot. And Allardyce seems to have taken sufficient steps to bolster it in the transfer window.
- Patrick van Aanholt from Sunderland for £14.0m
- Luka Milivojevic from Olympiakos FC for Undisclosed fee (believed around £12m)
- Mamadou Sakho from Liverpool on loan
- Jeffrey Schlupp from Leicester City for £12.5m
- Jordon Mutch to Reading on Loan
Source: Sky Sports
Allardyce might just have struck gold with the last transfer of the window in Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho. The French international has been hungry for any kind of action in the field since his rift with the manager and the club at Anfield. And we expect the centre-half to give his everything in this next four months. With his big frame and game reading abilities, Allardyce has surely got a beast in his back line now.
Patrick van Aanholt’s signing was more or less a sure-shot signing given the manager’s previous rapport with the Dutch defender and he will surely bring an extra edge to their defence as well as the offence on the wings. Allardyce has given into deploying wingbacks lately and Aanholt could be tremendously effective from that position. Already involved in their latest win over Bournemouth, the former Chelsea man looks quite assuring at the back.
Schlupp has already started a couple of games for them and while he alone could hardly make any difference, now with a host of quality defenders coming in, he could really be useful for the Eagles.
The option to buy Luka Milivojevic was right at the last moment and the manager opted for him over Yann M’Vila who was available for a lesser price. There is no doubt in Milivojevic’s quality in the midfield, who could provide some really intelligent passes up front, but it will be worth observing how fast he can adapt to the fast-paced nature of English football.
T4O verdict: 6.5
While one couldn’t blame Allardyce for looking to mend the most immediate and biggest concern of the team, we think he could have done much better in the attacking third. An assuring addition to the midfield could have added more balance.
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