Saturday, December 3, 2022

Crystal Palace Eyeing Up Move For 28 Y/O English Winger: Right Fit For Hodgson’s Plans?

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Bishwaraj Bhattacharyya
Former athlete. Now a journalist hoping to cover football no matter the league or country.

West Ham United are reportedly shopping Michail Antonio around town for bids in the region of £15m. Despite setting up a decent impression on the new boss, Manuel Pellegrini, the 28-year-old is expected to be sold off in order to recoup some of the £90m already spent this summer. Latest reports confirm that the player is looking to stay in London for family reasons and Crystal Palace have expressed interest.

The Hammers have already made additions in Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko in the wing position and can now afford to let go of the injury-ridden Antonio. United have also announced the purchase of Toulouse FC defender, Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena, Jack Wilshere and Ryan Fredericks on free transfers.

Pellegrini has clearly taken on his responsibilities as Hammers manager with a lot of high minded ambitions for the club. He might still be looking to add a few more key pieces to the current squad. United were in the relegation ties last season and David Sullivan wants to steer the club towards an improved path. The club released a huge statement of intent by signing a Premier League winning manager on a £10m-a-year contract.

They have also allowed the Chilean head coach to all the necessary funds to bolster the club ranks. Now, selling off a few of the unnecessary components will allow the club to run on better terms, rather than keeping everybody employed to the side pointlessly.

Antonio is coming off his third season with the Hammers with 3 more years still left in his contract. The 28-year-old is a solid attacking option who can be fielded in almost any position on the offensive end. With blistering pace under his boots, Roy Hodgson can certainly find some use for Antonio in Palace’s immediate future in the 2018/19 Premier League campaign.

However, the Englishman did not quite hit the right mark this past season with just 3 goals registered in 22 appearances across all competitions. It seemed like the injury has stolen the winger’s running form from his debut campaign at East London.

Roy Hodgson was successful in saving Crystal Palace from relegation last term and in holding onto Wilfried Zaha. Christian Benteke’s horrific scoring form this past season should be enough for the ex-England head coach to look for attacking replacements.

Read More: Crystal Palace Join Race To Sign Versatile Uruguay Star: What Will He Bring To Selhurst Park?

Now that Andros Townsend continues to get linked with Newcastle United and Bakary Sako rejecting a new contract, maybe Hodgson is prepared to splash a hefty sum on Antonio as a replacement. Yohan Cabaye has also departed from Selhurst Park, potentially leaving the attacking midfield role open.

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