With the January transfer window well and truly behind us, fans have begun to look forward to the summer transfer window and wonder how it will play out.
Not only do we need to improve our squad but we will also have to plug massive gaps which will be appearing in the squad due to 13 or more contracts expiring.
Players out of contract in the summer
The players who will be out of contract in the summer will be:
|Contract Expires||Loan Expires|
Erdal Rakip** We have the option to buy for £10m.
|Contract Possibly Expires (Can’t confirm)|
|Scott Dann||Jason Puncheon|
Of course, it would be easy to ask the question, why have some of the players above not had their contracts extended. Some of the players we can agree are not of the standard required for the Premier League but some players of value should have been tied down last summer and sold if they wouldn’t commit to the club.
With that question put to one side (it’s a discussion for another time) we can see that there are at least 13 players who could leave the club in the summer. Maybe one or two of them will be offered new deals once our Premier League status is confirmed, as happened last May with Damien Delaney and Julian Speroni.
For the sake of discussion let’s say that all the players listed above depart the club. I won’t include Dann and Puncheon in this because I think they have a year left on their deals. However, Puncheon might be having time away from the club for reasons other than football. If you know what I mean?
We’re gonna have dust off the Mastercard
The situation is this, like them or loathe them, if one of the players in the list above leaves we need to replace him. We could be lucky and get one of two free agents but if the 13 players listed above all leave then it’s gonna cost us a
shitload shedload of money to replace them! Money which we all know we don’t have.
Once again, for the sake of argument, let’s say we sign Rakip for £10m and we also have the goalkeeper from Getafe coming in on a free transfer. That takes the number of players we’d need to 11, that’s still quite a lot.
The price of Premier League players
How much would you say a bang average Premier League player would cost? You know, the Charlie Adam type?
Luka cost us £12m, Townsend cost us £11m and our new striker Sørloth cost us just over £8m (rising to £16.5m with add-ons). So, if I say we’ll spend an average of £5m on a player then replacing the 11 players we’d need would cost us £55m!
Let’s say we get lucky and we manage to get 6 players on free transfers. They might be free but their wages are a lot more but let’s set that aside for now. That would still leave 5 players costing an average of £5m totalling £25m and that is before we think about getting anyone remotely decent.
A lot of Palace fans would like us to sign Loftus-Cheek on a permanent deal. I think he’d cost us about £20m if he was available. I know, Ross Barkley cost Chelsea £15m but he would have been a free agent in the summer so his fee bears no reflection on how much Loftus-Cheek would cost us.
Loftus-Cheek is rumoured to have 4-years left on his contract and, because of our help, he has 2 England caps to his name. He’ll cost us at least what Barkley cost Chelsea.
Time for Freedman to earn his crust
All told I can’t see how this is going to play out in the summer. I hope Freedman is doing his job because the way things are going at the moment he has found 3 players, all prospects for the future, and they will end us costing us £26.2m over and above what we could have got them for 7 months ago.
I see the summer playing out in one of a few ways.
- We end up signing journeymen.
- We end up relying mostly on our youth prospects.
- We sign a bunch of players who are prospects for the future.
- We end up as a feeding club loaning players from around Europe.
- All of the above.
The sums just don’t stack up. Five million pounds doesn’t get you a player ready for the Premier League and we have to replace a good number even if a couple sign new deals.
The more I look at the transfer policy of the club and the lack of forward planning with renewing contracts the more I wonder what is going on behind the scenes.