AFC Bournemouth
12:00 PM UTC
Game Details
 By Jim Daly

How did Palace do in the window?

Ins and Outs

Players in: Chris Kettings (Blackpool, free), Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff, £900,000), Brede Hangeland (Fulham, free), Wilfried Zaha (Manchester United, loan), Martin Kelly (Liverpool, undisclosed), Zeki Fryers (Tottenham, £3m), James McArthur (Wigan, undisclosed), Kevin Doyle (Wolves, loan)

Players out: Kagisho Dikgacoi (Cardiff City, free), Danny Gabbidon and Aaron Wilbraham (released), Neil Alexander (Hearts, free), Jose Campana (Sampdoria, undisclosed), Jonathan Parr (Ipswich, free), Dean Moxey (released), Jack Hunt (Nottingham Forest, loan)

Summing up the window

Like a Crystal Palace display on the pitch, the club's transfer window dealings have been solid if unspectacular. The return of Zaha is the biggest news in South London, but even that didn't quite have the fanfare you'd have expected from the Eagles' most expensive ever export coming home a year later.

McArthur, Hangeland, Campbell and Fryers are all upgrades on current squad members in their respective positions; a bit like going into your mobile phone provider's shop and asking for a sexier, more reliable model. Although I'm not 100 percent convinced by Hangeland yet.

All the players that have gone were rubbish and I dislike them all. The only exception being Glenn Murray whose departure on loan to Reading probably signals the end of his Palace career, which is hard to take given his goal exploits to help the Eagles get promoted two seasons ago. But in truth he doesn't quite have it to become a Premier League player. Overall, a 7/10


Best piece of business?

Fryers for £1.5m (rising to £3m) could be brilliant work if he develops into the player people have been claiming he could be for the last three years. It's a perfect move for both parties in that Fryers needs game time to develop and at the same time prove himself while Palace literally need a man who has a left foot and can play in defence.

Otherwise, McArthur for £5m is decent. A hard-working midfielder perfect for the way Palace play, with experience of playing in similarly sized team, in a similar style of play and used to that familiar feel of a relegation scrap. Welcome aboard, James!

Wilfried Zaha is back at Crystal Palace where he helped the Eagles get promoted from the Championship in 2012-13.
Wilfried Zaha is back at Crystal Palace where he helped the Eagles get promoted from the Championship in 2012-13.

Worst piece of business?

Kettings literally caused zero reaction from Palace fans when he arrived on account of the club already have two goalkeepers who are better than him and no one knowing who he is, or even wanting to. If he ever makes a first-team appearance for the Eagles I will dress as a giant lobster for the remainder of the season.

Otherwise, all the other signings kind of make sense in one way or another. There's no real head-scratchers, except possibly for Doyle on loan. It's not 2008 anymore and the Irishman is pretty much a replacement for Murray being the same age but, crucially, has top flight experience and more goals to his name.

What remaining issues are there?

Last season it was scoring goals but with five notched in the first three games of the season perhaps that isn't a worry anymore. Certainly going forward, Palace look a threat. The combination of tricky wingers Yannick Bolasie, Jason Puncheon and Zaha coupled with hard working and nippy forwards Dwight Gayle or Campbell means it actually gets quite exciting when the Eagles are on the attack. Chuck in the mercurial Marouane Chamakh to the mix and it looks pretty attractive.

Gayle has shown he is ready to step up from being a super sub last season with a goal after 29 seconds at Newcastle, Chamakh -- playing in that No.10 role -- is off the mark already and Zaha has opened his Premier League account in the most dramatic fashion possible, with a 95th minute equaliser at St James's Park. Puncheon, Palace's match-winner on numerous occasions last season, has also already scored this campaign.

But whereas the defence was the big plus last season, this time around it is a worry. Eight goals conceded in three games is concerning, and four of those coming from set pieces is even more of a worry considering the team only let on ONE from a set piece under old boss Tony Pulis last season.

That needs to be rectified pronto or all that exciting forward play will mean nothing.

Who can help in January?

Despite all that praise of the forward line earlier, Palace still lack a dedicated, out and out, old fashioned, six-yard loving, striker. Someone who just lives on goals. Murray was excellent in 2012-13 (and proved to be somewhat of an all-rounder with goals coming in all shapes and sizes) but Palace haven't had a poacher since the likes of Clinton Morrison.

Jordan Rhodes would be a nice little New Year's present if chairman Steve Parish is prepared to break the club's transfer record. If it looks like those extra goals could clinch a record second Premier league survival for the club, I have a feeling he might go for it. Failing that, Connor Wickham. Failing that......Glenn Murray?


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