With the transfer window in full swing, ESPNFC's Crystal Palace blogger Jim Daly discusses how Tony Pulis' side are shaping up ahead of the new season.
IN -- Chris Kettings (Blackpool, free transfer)
OUT -- Kagisho Dikgacoi (Cardiff, free transfer), Aaron Wilbraham (Bristol City, free) Jonny Parr (Ipswich, free), Dean Moxey (Bolton, free)
SUMMER TRANSFER WINDOW ASSESSMENTS
PREMIER LEAGUE: Arsenal | Aston Villa | Burnley | Chelsea | Crystal Palace | Everton | Hull City | Leicester City | Liverpool | Man City | Man Utd | Newcastle | QPR | Southampton | Stoke | Sunderland | Swansea | Tottenham | West Brom | West Ham
TV money and cash for finishing 11th in the table means Palace's bank balance is almost certainly looking the healthiest it has for some time, but whether that translates to the transfer kitty remains to be seen.
Tony Pulis has a record of spending BIG at Stoke but Eagles chairman Steve Parish is famously stringent with his cheque book (which led to some feisty clashes between the two in January). The result of that window was four excellent signings for not very much money and I'd expect the club to do the same this summer window.
Loans were used brilliantly last season too by the club so there could be a few lads coming in borrowed from other clubs. I reckon there'll be one marquee signing and a few cheap additions bolted on. I'd be surprised if all of Palace's spending totals more than 15 million pounds.
Rate your business so far
Erm...there isn't really much to rate. It's a bit like Britain's Got Talent if no-one turns up. Chris Keetings arrived but the goalkeeper is unlikely to feature with Wayne Hennessey and Julian Speroni ahead of him in the pecking order -- unless he manages to poison them both somehow.
Elsewhere, Marouane Chamakh signed a new two-year deal with the club and Palace fans could not be happier. He was brilliant for the Eagles last season -- clearly a class above most of his teammates -- and quickly became a fan favourite.
Speroni also signed a new contract and he has rightly acquired legendary status at Palace; not just for pulling off some brilliant saves but for sticking around when the club was in dire straits four years ago and generally being a bloody lovely bloke.
All in all, a solid 6/10.
Who should be sold?
To be honest, all the deadwood has gone. Dean Moxey was out of his depth and has moved to the deeper depths of Bolton Wanderers. Aaron Wilbraham was a fan's favourite, ironically because he was so bad.
The rest of the squad has proven they can play at this level -- even though I had serious questions marks over some *cough cough Damien Delaney* -- but they've pleasantly surprised. I suspect Jonny Williams will sadly depart; the Palace academy midfielder is massively popular with the fans but clearly doesn't fit into Pulis' plans.
Who should be signed?
Fraizer Campbell is reportedly about to sign which isn't terrible news until you hear his wages are around 40,000 pounds a week. He's a good player and shone in a poor Cardiff team last season but I feel like he's too similar to Dwight Gayle, who showed flashes of real potential. He ended up Palace's top scorer despite only playing five minutes, or something.
Pulis has quipped that Gayle was too small to be considered a regular so why sign Campbell -- a player who must only be millimetres taller than Gayle? The other name linked with Palace is much more encouraging: Gylfi Sigurdsson. The Spurs attacking midfielder is very classy and could link up the attack and midfield perfectly, allowing Chamakh to push on a bit. Palace will almost certainly have to break their transfer record again to sign him but we already know Pulis loves to flash the sheets, so why not?
Problem solving: What do you need?
Left-back, my kingdom for a left-back. Both recognised left-sided full-backs Jonny Parr and Dean Moxey have waved goodbye and headed to Norfolk and Greater Manchester respectively. Joel Ward filled in there brilliantly last season but I'd rather he got to excel at right-back, his natural position. I would have liked to have seen Kieran Richardson considered but he's moved to Aston Villa so at this point fans will take literally anyone.
On top of that, Palace need a striker who can lead the line, run the channels, hold the ball up, flick it on and generally be what Cameron Jerome was last season only ... good.