Daniel Taylor casts his eye over a selection of potential summer arrivals in SE25…
With the summer upon us in the footballing world and that magical £120M jackpot from last Monday’s play-off final, Crystal Palace have a few decisoins to make in regards to players in and out of the club. Here’s a short-list of players that Parish and Co may want Ollie to look into as well as some of Ollie’s interests according to recent rumours.
Jay Tabb: Central Midfielder, Reading, 29
The Royals midfielder is reaching the end of his contract and his experience in the Premier League may be beneficial to us as we aim to make ourselves a contender in the Premier League next season. With Reading’s relegation there may be a few players looking for a shortcut into the top flight this summer.
Florent Malouda: Left Midfielder, Chelsea, 32
The Chelsea veteran has been out of favour at Stamford Bridge for a while now, although his wages may not be a realistic expense. His experience is vital and he’s got a decent delivery so with him out of contract and us with a few pennies in our pocket, we may be able to win him round with a pay as you play deal.
Nicky Shorey: Left Back, Reading, 32
Shorey has spent a few years in the top flight, with Aston Villa before Reading, and with The Royals going down he’ll want to make himself available to Premier League clubs. With Moxey and the soon to return Parr, he may be a good addition but not necessarily vital.
Carlton Cole: Striker, West Ham, 29
Not a huge fan but with Premier League miles under his belt and an ability to hold up the ball to put others into play, Carlton Cole is someone who can be put up top alone and make a change.
Gary Taylor-Fletcher: Striker, Blackpool, 31
A previous employee of Holloway in the Premier League and a seasoned veteran striker, Mr TF may give us a striker of worth whilst Murray is nursed back to health.
Danny Butterfield: Right Back, Southampton, 33
Who can forget that incredible hatrick in the cup against Wolves a few years ago? Danny Butterfield, a player of experience and Palace folklore may be worth reeling back to Selhurst to give Ward some tips on Premier League life and cover his back when necessary. Not the pace we need but defensive ability that’s always valued.
Clint Hill: Centre Back, QPR, 34
Another Ex-Palace boy that many will remember as a Hillsborough hero, would be welcomed back with open arms from Loftus Road. His defensive qualities and leadership is what we would desire should Delaney or Rambo be out of action and someone who knows his way around Selhurst.
Emmerson Boyce: Centre Back, Wigan, 33
Unlikely to leave Wigan should he be offered a new deal but a former Palace player that we can be proud of. Boyce led Wigan to an FA Cup this season and would have invaluable experience in the Premier League that we need to acquire this summer. With Wigan’s relegation he may look for a way into the Premier League with his former club.
DJ Campbell: Striker, QPR, 31
We may not be able to match the financial package that QPR could be giving him but if he falls out of contract there he could be worth acquiring. A proven goal scorer and as I’ve said, we need one while Murray recovers.
Alex Baptiste: Centre Back, Blackpool, 27
A former employee of Holloway in the top flight, a very big lad at the back who could cover one of our current tag team of Delaney & Rambo. Having his old boss in our changing room might persuade him to join us in the Prem.
Carlos Javier Acuna: Winger, Real Madrid Castillo, 24
The Real Madrid C winger has been on loan at Girona this season and has netted a great 19 goals for the second tier Spanish side. With Wilf off to United this might just be the perfect replacement and Ollie has already registered his interest. However, Boro and Bolton are in the chase too so maybe our top flight status will win the Paraguayan over.
Peter Odemwingie: Striker, 31, West Brom
The Nigerian international has been out of favour with The Baggies since his attempt to get into QPR by unorthodox means. However, Palace have shown interest for Odemwingie in the past so maybe we pick up where we left off and make a charge.
David Bentley: Winger, 28, Blackburn Rovers
Bentley has spent this season on loan at White Hart Lane but been a very bit part character in AVB’s plans. With his contract at Ewood Park on it’s final knockings, the Peterborough born England international will look elsewhere for first team football. Selhurst Park may just be that place. Fun Fact: Bentley is one of three players to score a hatrick against Man United at Old Trafford; Dirk Kuyt and most recently Romano Lukaku are the only other players to share this stat.
Tom Ince: Winger/Attacking Midfielder, 21, Blackpool
Paul Ince’s son has shone at Blackpool and has earned himself a few England U21,19 & 17 caps. Tom has scored 28 goals in his career, two a piece at Notts County on loan and England U21s with the other 24 coming at his current club, Ollie’s old stomping ground, Blackpool.
Now in an ideal world, Palace will look to acquire players to cover all positions but that’s not going to happen. Personally, I think we need defensive cover and a goalscorer, accompanied by two quick and clever wingers to give that goalscorer his opportunities. I for one am looking forward to the summer’s ins and outs and whether any of the above players are included in Ollie’s plans.