RAY RYAN runs the rule over Palace’s summer transfer business so far
Tony Pulis performed a football miracle last season when he kept Crystal Palace in the Premier League, rightly earning himself the Manager of the Year award from his peers.
But now he’s really got his work cut-out.
Pulis and his Crystal Palace squad arrive back in London this morning after their successful pre-season tour to America with some expectations, not least among Eagles fans, that the manager needs to delve into the transfer market before the league season gets underway at Arsenal on August 16.
So far eight players have left Selhurst Park this summer, either on loan or permanently, while Pulis has signed just two as he seeks to shape the squad which he inherited from Ian Holloway last November to something of his own making.
It looks as if Pulis has been thwarted in his enquiries about a return to Palace for Selhurst favourite Wilf Zaha. Signed for Manchester United by Sir Alex Ferguson, then snubbed by David Moyes, Zaha, the England international winger, looks like he may be given a closer look by his third manager in less than a year now Louis van Gaal is at Old Trafford.
Steve Parish, the Palace co-chairman, has promised funds for Pulis, as the club has been linked to a host of players, including Hull City defender Curtis Davies (“He’s going nowhere,” according to Steve Bruce), Marseille winger Morgan Amalfitano, Stoke midfielder Steven N’Zonzi and Tottenham’s Lewis Holtby.
Fraizer Campbell’s £900,000 signing from relegated Cardiff made headlines. “We need goals and people who can put the ball in the back of the net,” Pulis said when the deal was announced. “It’s an area we need to improve so we’re pleased to sign Fraizer.
“He’s got a good attitude and works hard. He will blend in well with the rest of the group.”
Palace have also been trying to sign Campbell’s former Cardiff team mate Steven Caulker but failed to land the Wales player.
Chris Kettings has arrived on a free transfer from Blackpool, to supplement Julian Speroni, who has signed a 12-month contract extension, and Wales international Wayne Hennessy, among the club’s goalkeepers.
At 21, Kettings is untried at the top level but is seen as a star for the future. The Scotland under-21 international has admitted his move to south London will be “daunting”.
“It’s what dreams are made of, when you’re a kid who gets asked what they want to do, I said I want to play football in the Premier League, and getting that chance is overwhelmingly brilliant,” he said.
“The manager was unbelievable last season, with the run-in in particular. For a newly promoted club, especially considering the position we were in before he came in, it was unbelievable, and I’m sure we’ll be looking to kick on again this season.
“It’s daunting because I’m coming into a club where there are international stars. The familiar faces will be good, I think I’ll settle in fine.”
Coming to Croydon
- CODA’s Midsummer Night’s Dream at Wandle Park, Jul 30-Aug 2
- David Lean Cinema: Locke, July 31
- Mind-Loosening Workshop, Aug 2
- Upper Norwood Library Book Club, Aug 2
- Patchwork and quilting workshop, Upper Norwood Library, Aug 4
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 6
- David Lean Cinema: Grand Budapest Hotel, Aug 7
- Elm Tree Cottage garden open day, Aug 10
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 13
- David Lean Cinema: The Wind Rises, Aug 14
- Mind-Loosing Workshop, Aug 16
- David Lean Cinema: The Love Punch, Aug 16
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Aug 16
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 20
- David Lean Cinema: Stop The Pounding Heart, Aug 21
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 27
- David Lean Cinema: Frank, Aug 28
- Upper Norwood Library well-being groups, Aug 30
- Warlingham rugby dinner with international Richard Hill, Sep 12
- Norwood Society Talk: War Memorials, Sep 18
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Sep 20
- Streatham Common 6M race, Sep 27
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Oct 18
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
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