Who I Would Retain From The Squad

It's that time of year again when we sort the wheat from the chaff

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It’s that time of year again when we have one eye on next season and we begin to think who we’d like to keep at all costs and who we’d happily chip in to pay for a taxi to the train station.

So, without further ado here are the players I’d keep and move on if I had the choice with a little explanation further down.

Note: I haven’t included youth players as I consider them to be work in progress.

Julian Speroni move on Luka Milivojević keep
Wayne Hennessey move on Max Meyer keep
Vincente Guaita keep Cheikhou Kouyaté keep
Joel Ward keep James McArthur keep
Patrick van Aanholt keep Bakary Sako move on
Martin Kelly keep Jason Puncheon move on
James Tomkins keep Andros Townsend keep
Scott Dann keep Wilfried Zaha keep
Mamadou Sakho keep Connor Wickham move on
Jaroslaw Jach move on Alexander  Sørloth move on
Pape Souare move on Christian Benteke move on
Aaron Wan-Bissaka keep
Jeffrey Schlupp keep Michy Batshuayi sign for right price
Jaïro Riedewald keep Jordan Ayew sign for right price

Julian Speroni

I could be a smart arse here and write a well thought out reason why Speroni shouldn’t be kept on for next season but the truth is as I type this the news has just broken that he will be leaving the club in the summer.

Personally, I would have kept him on as a 3rd choice keeper, maybe player/coach. This leads me to think we are going to sign Peri but that is a risk as he has never played a first team game anywhere in the world.

If we were going to sign Jack Butland or another keeper of his standing then it would make more sense to keep Speroni, who wouldn’t be getting the hump at lack of game time, and get rid of…

Wayne Hennessey

I have never been a fan of Hennessey’s and the shenanigans regarding the Nazi salute means he should be sold as he has embarrassed himself and the club. He wasn’t a great keeper when he arrived at the club from Wolves, who were in League One at the time and he couldn’t get in their team! Time is up for him.

Jaroslaw Jach

A full Polish international but hasn’t had any first team action and by all accounts he can’t get into the team where he is currently on loan either. People I know who have seen him play for the development squad say he is woeful.

Pape Souare

I love Souare and at the time of his accident I thought he was one of the best left-backs the club had ever had. He can play defensive midfield too but it seems Roy doesn’t fancy him at all, or maybe he isn’t totally over his injury.

All in all it is probably best he tries to get his career going elsewhere as there is no point keeping him on the books if Joel Ward is preferred at left-back over him.

Bakary Sako

I have no idea why we bought his contract from West Bromwich Albion in January. At the time we needed a striker and we didn’t have Michy Batshuayi lined up but Sako isn’t a striker. We already had 3 other players who are not strikers playing the striker role but it was spun as a no risk signing.

As he has had almost no game time and definitely no impact, like much of the 3 years he was with the club before that, it is best he is left to his own devices unless he is willing to accept a very cheap contract.

Jason Puncheon

The moment he was arrested for the belt swinging incident he should have been suspended by the club. The moment he was convicted (or changed his plea to guilty) he should have been released by the club.

He brought the club into disrepute and though he has been a decent player for us it is time for him to go. Signed as a winger and converted to an attacking midfielder, he can’t keep up with the game any more.

Connor Wickham

I love Wickham so it is with a heavy heart I say this but it is time to move him on for one of the same reasons it is time to move Benteke on. Wickham has one year left on his contract so it is best to try and get some money for him.

Of course, I am not privy to his medical records but maybe if he can get a good pre-season under his belt then he is worth keeping in the hope that he can be the player he was before he got injured.

Alexander Sørloth

What can I say about Sørloth? He just isn’t up the the Premier League. Signed in January 2018 from the Danish top flight he was over-priced and lacks the quality we need.

We signed him for £8m, six months after the Danes signed him for £600,000 from a Dutch club where he struggled to score goals. Sørloth’s fee will rise to £16m with add-ons but as that must be linked to goals there is little chance they will be triggered.

That said, Sørloth’s goalscoring record this season for Palace is only 1 goal worse off than a striker who cost us £27m!

Christian Benteke

Benteke’s form has been shocking over the last two seasons which for a player of his talent, experience, fee and wages is unacceptable.

Benteke has one year left on his contract so won’t want to move on and we stand to lose a lot of money next summer when, if as expected, he will leave on a free transfer.

I think we should accept any reasonable offer of no less than £10m but I doubt anyone would offer that much and pay him his wages, which he can double next summer by leaving for free.

See my article on our options are on the Bekteke situation here.

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