It was definitely one of the more surprising signings in the January transfer window, but Crystal Palace’s capture of Michy Batshuayi will speak volumes come the end of the season. The Belgian striker made the deadline day switch from Chelsea, as Roy Hodgson’s side beat a whole host of clubs to sign the 25-year-old on loan until the end of the season.
According to The Independent, Palace held off stiff competition from Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Everton and Real Betis to sign Batshuayi, and the move already looks to be paying dividends. The former Marseille striker came off the bench and made an instant impact on his debut against Fulham, providing fans with a potential glimpse of what’s to come.
Revitalise Palace’s attack
Traditionally, the Eagles have struggled for goals since they returned to the Premier League in 2013. In those six seasons, they have only scored 50 goals or more in just one of those campaigns and Batshuayi will be keen to boost such stats.
What will become apparent is Batshuayi’s enthusiasm and commitment to the cause, and his cameo debut performance demonstrated plenty more positives are to come. Hodgson would have been more than pleased with Batshuayi’s start and the former England manager will be keen to get him firing on all cylinders with Christian Benteke.
Palace’s record signing struggled badly last season and has failed to get off the mark in this campaign, so Batshuayi’s inclusion could be just the tonic for both players to thrive and start hitting the back of the net. It’s been long overdue, but the Belgian duo could be just what’s needed to revitalise a previously toothless attack.
The victory over Fulham and last week’s draw with West Ham moved Palace three points away from the relegation zone in 13th position, and it’s imperative the south Londoners continue to look up the table and not down. Although Palace are closer to the bottom three than Leicester City in 12th, an on-song Batshuayi can certainly help the Eagles climb the table.
Last season, Batshuayi enjoyed a fine loan spell with Borussia Dortmund whereby he scored nine goals in 14 appearances, including a brace on his Bundesliga debut which goes to show just the type of quality player Palace have on their hands.
His form in Germany was always going to make him an attractive option for a top-flight team looking to boost their goal tally, and with the likes of Wilfred Zaha and Andros Townsend providing the ammunition, you envisage a fruitful relationship for Batshuayi and Palace.
Blossoming relationship with Chelsea
If you think Batshuayi’s move to Selhurst Park was something of a fluke, then think again. Last season, Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek made the temporary switch to SE19 and was nothing short of magnificent.
The attacking midfielder quickly installed himself as a fans’ favourite and Hodgson was more than keen to buy him, but such was Loftus-Cheek’s great impression the Blues were never going to tolerate negotiations.
Nonetheless, the success of Loftus-Cheek made it easy for Chelsea to send another fringe player out on loan to a trusted source. It could become the start of a blossoming relationship between the two London neighbours, and will serve Batshuayi well in the process. As long as he provides a healthy goal and can add a new attacking dimension to Palace’s style of play, Batshuayi will be exactly what the Eagles are looking for. The Eagles take on Leicester City in their next league game, and you can check out all the latest Premier League markets via Betfair.