Crystal Palace have completed the loan signing of Everton striker Cenk Tosun.
Turkey international Tosun, 28, has been looking for a move away from Merseyside in order to get more playing time under his belt with Euro 2020 fast approaching.
Why did Tosun join Palace? Five things to know…
- Palace have brought Tosun to Selhurst Park on loan from Everton until the end of the season.
- Tosun, who has made just five Premier League appearances this season, wants more playing time ahead of Euro 2020.
- Palace are one of only two clubs, including 19th-placed Watford, to have scored fewer than 20 goals in the Premier League this season.
- Manager Roy Hodgson revealed Tosun is already in contention to make his Palace debut at the weekend.
- Tosun’s last goal came against Tottenham back in November.
Why do Palace need Tosun?
Goals have been scarce in south London this season, with Hodgson’s side managing to net just 19 times in 21 outings. Only relegation-threatened Watford have scored fewer than the Eagles in 2019/20 (17). No team in the division has managed fewer shots on target than Palace, whose joint-lowest total of 68 is one thing they have in common with Sheffield United and Burnley.
Indeed, Hodgson has largely had to rely on his side’s defensive qualities, despite being plagued in that particular department for most of the campaign, to grind out results and put significant points on the table.
The fact that only Jordan Ayew has hit the five-goal mark this term, while talisman Wilfried Zaha has amassed just a three-goal haul, makes for pretty grim reading.
Christian Benteke continues his barren run of just four goals in the last three seasons across all competitions for Crystal Palace. You’d have to cast your mind back to April 2019 for the last time the Belgian found the back of the net, and April 2017 for the last time he scored in successive games.
And herein lies the quandary for Hodgson. The Eagles currently sit a commendable ninth in the Premier League table, highlighting just how well Hodgson is doing with such limited resources, but he will still be wary of getting dragged into relegation trouble and may need some help.
In order to alleviate Palace’s goal-shy exploits last season, Hodgson secured a loan deal for Chelsea forward Michy Batshuayi, and it proved an inspired move as the Belgian netted six goals in 13 matches. The evergreen tactician may be hoping Tosun can have a similar impact.
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What qualities will Tosun bring?
The Turkey international is perhaps not in the same echelon, from a technical standpoint, as the aforementioned Batshuayi. But what Tosun lacks in creativity, he more than makes up for in aggression and directness.
One of Hodgson outstanding qualities lies in getting the best out of players, so if he can help Tosun rediscover the goalscoring touch from his prolific Besiktas days, then both parties will profit from this move.
Tosun is a more traditional No. 9 – perhaps somewhere in between Ayew and Benteke – so could seriously bolster Palace’s frontline. He hasn’t quite been able to hit the ground running in English football just yet, but perhaps a change of scene is needed to kickstart his career in the Premier League.
What does the rest of 2019/20 have in store for Palace?
- Palace currently lie ninth in the Premier League table after 21 games.
- The Eagles face tough ties against Arsenal and Man City in their next two games.
- William Hill* give Hodgson’s men a 7/4 chance of remaining in the top half for the rest of the season.
- You can also back them at 25/1 to sneak into the top six.
- But if you feel Palace can nosedive to relegation, William Hill will give you odds of 18/1.
*You have to be 18+ to gamble. For more information, go to BeGambleAware.org