Crystal Palace Football Club have been typically themselves in the Premier League this season.
Always a side that embodies so much promise, Roy Hodgson’s side have found themselves cemented in the lower end of midtable, flirting dangerously close with the relegation zone on more than one occasion.
Which from the outside, is bizarre.
In Wilfried Zaha, the club have one of the most exciting and talented players in the Premier League. Andros Townsend has improved greatly this campaign, with his endless energy surfacing week-in-week-out, only bettered by his wonder strike away to reigning Premier League champions Manchester City.
In the middle, Luka Milivojević has led by example, and behind him is arguably one of the most well-balanced defences outside the top-six.
Mamadou Sakho and James Tomkins have established themselves as a rock-solid defensive partnership, with Patrick Van Aanholt and Aaron Wan-Bissaka providing consistently supportive wing-play on each side of the pitch, causing defenders and attackers headaches alike.
The only problem that the Eagles have faced this season is that they do not have a natural goalscorer. They are the joint-third worst scoring team in the Premier League and with the absence of a struggling Christian Benteke and an injury-hit Connor Wickham, Palace simply haven’t had the quality up-top to make a difference.
Now in January, Hodgson can attempt to bring in a striker to help Palace’s fight to climb the table and continue to drag themselves away from any potential relegation battle.
Here is who we think are the best options for Palace. A dream signing, a realistic signing, a wildcard and who gets our rubberstamped approval.
Dream: Michy Batshuayi
On-loan at Valencia from Chelsea, sporting director Mateu Alemany confirmed that the Spanish outfit were cutting Batshuayi’s loan deal short, telling reporters: “The player knows this and we hope that soon it can be solved for the good of all the parties.
“We need signings up front and in some cases our patience has run out.”
Well, what hasn’t worked out for the La Liga club could end up working out quite well for the south London outfit. Despite only scoring one goal in 15 La Liga outings this season, Batshuayi is a talented centre-forward who has the ability to turn Crystal Palace’s season around.
With the Belgium international returning to London- he has scored 12 goals in 23 outings for the Red Devils – another loan move down the road to SE25 could make sense for all three parties.
Chelsea don’t see the 25-year-old as the man to come in and net the goals for the Blues, who themselves are struggling to find the net of late.
Palace need a goalscorer – Batshuayi has scored 19 goals in 53 outings for the Blues despite never being a regular starter – and the Belgian himself may fancy staying in London and playing regular first-team football for a club which is notorious for patience and vocal support.
Realistic: Oumar Niasse
The Everton forward came close to joining Crystal Palace in August 2017 only for the deal to fall through last-minute. Niasse has hardly established himself as a regular goalscorer, netting just nine goals for the Toffees since moving to Everton in 2016.
Niasse is a player who won’t be too expensive, which would suit Crystal Palace down to the ground considering that they have both Benteke and Wickham returning to first-team action.
The Senegalese international has only made five Premier League appearances this season, with Everton preferring to utilise the talents of Richarlison, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun.
Niasse has naturally been linked with a move to Selhurst Park once again, which won’t exactly fill Palace fans with optimism.
This deal is one that is most likely to occur this month and would at least add another option to the Eagles attacking players in the second half of this campaign.
Wildcard: Odion Ighalo
The former Watford man has recently revealed that he would like to return to English football following his stint in the Chinese Super League.
Ighalo proved a valuable asset to the Hornets at the start of his career, scoring 35 goals in 71 matches before his form declined in the 2016/17 campaign.
On his day, Ighalo can provide a moment of magic, that something extra that Palace have lacked in the final third of the pitch this season.
With the Nigerian declaring his interest in signing for a Premier League side, surely Palace would at least take a look at Ighalo and see whether a deal represents value for money.
Ighalo worked well playing off Watford icon Troy Deeney so perhaps if Benteke could get fit, the two strikers could gel and fire in the goals the Eagles need to get more points on the board.
Squawka Suggests: Tammy Abraham
Another one of Chelsea’s mass-loan contingent is currently banging in the goals in the Championship for Aston Villa in their quest for promotion back to England’s top division.
The young Englishman has scored 16 goals so far this season, with 54.7% of his shots on target in what is notoriously a tough division to escape.
Reports suggested that Abraham was going to ditch one Midlands club for another, with Premier League surprise package Wolverhampton Wanderers interested in bringing the former Swansea City loanee to Molineux.
However, the deal didn’t materialise and Abraham remains at Villa Park, for now. If Crystal Palace fancied taking a punt on Abraham, they could be in with a chance with the Blues able to cut short the loan deal at a moments notice.
Chelsea’s recent signing of Christian Pulisic saw the club spend £54 million and with Maurizio Sarri surely after further names to add strength to their multiple ambitions – especially as the American will not be joining until the summer – the sale of Abraham could benefit all involved.
Apart from Aston Villa, of course.