Palace smash record for Gayle
Crystal Palace have signed Dwight Gayle from League One side Peterborough for an undisclosed fee, which is believed to be a club-record £4.5 million.
Gayle, 22, was playing non-league football just 12 months ago but will now be plying his trade in the top-flight of English football and has signed a four-year contract.
"I'm ecstatic really, I just want to get pre-season started now," he told Palace's official website. "The chance came and I had to grab it because I might not get another chance. To be playing in the Premier League from where I've come from is a big achievement really.
"I'm just really looking forward to it and hopefully I can take the opportunity with both hands and do well."
He was signed by Dagenham & Redbridge from Stansted of the Essex Senior League in the summer of 2011 but spent 2011-12 on loan at Conference North side Bishop's Stortford where he plundered 42 goals. After just nine League Two appearances for the Daggers at the start of last season he was signed by Championship outfit Peterborough on loan in November 2012.
He scored seven goals in nine league games before the move was made permanent in January for an initial fee of £500,000. Now the transfer to Palace is set to earn Dag & Red around £1 million from the sell-on they negotiated with Peterborough.
Eagles manager Ian Holloway added on the club's website: "I'm absolutely delighted. I was very annoyed when we didn't get him last year, to be honest. But now it makes a huge statement for us and it proves that I don't care where I get my people from. I believe it's about how good you're going to be, not just how good you are already.
"I think this fella has got Crystal Palace stamped all over him - the way he moves, the way he chases, the way he works. He's hungry for success and I'm absolutely thrilled that after long conversations we've come up with, I think, a proper Palace player.
"He's got an opportunity now to go and enjoy his football and I think he'll score goals at Premier League level, I really do. He's born to score goals."