Crystal Palace are reportedly all set to make their first big move under Sam Allardyce and if things go according to plan, ex-Manchester United left-back, Patrice Evra will be making a shock return to the Premier League.
Alan Pardew oversaw an underwhelming year for Palace, where they only won 6 matches in all. The returns are actually unacceptable given the money Pardew had spent on players and the pedigree he had come in with. He was rightly sacked late last year before things got out of hands even more. Sam Allardyce, who himself has had a turbulent year, has been appointed in his place and he is yet to notch up a win in the first 4 matches he has overseen. They have scored a meagre 2 goals in that time.
While Palace seem to have enough quality, the nature of the start will force them to make changes in different forms to mount a comeback. Crystal Palace have a shockingly low depth in the fullback region with Kelly and Ward, who are essentially right-backs and Zeki Fryers as the only left-back who is far from making the grade. The Eagles can’t possibly leave this area of the field unattended and hence the move is on to sign a left-back.
Kelly and Ward are traditionally right-backs and one of them has been playing left-back as a makeshift option and because it has been going on for quite a while now, it doesn’t bode well for a team who are aspiring to be in the Top 10 with ease and advance on that position.
Palace set up in an offensive manner and their structure enables them to use the flanks to attack and for that, proper fullbacks are mandatory. And the makeshift option can never be expected to fill in sufficiently in that role.
Patrice Evra will not be a long-term option by any means and at 35 years old, this will likely be his final assignment in the Premier League or indeed in competitive football. He has been linked with a move to Manchester United in this window but mainly in a coaching capacity. Hence, the potential move to Palace, if it is indeed on, might be a welcome situation for the French fullback.
He has lost his starting spot in the Juventus team and will not be content with sitting on the bench in Italy. This will strictly be a short-term move but his wealth of experience along with his undoubted quality will be a boost for them.