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September 20 2020 5.13am

Should the Eagles swoop for Daniel Sturridge?

August 26 2020

Selhurst Park

Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace ended the 2019/20 season with the second fewest amount of goals scored in the entire division, writes Jim Leyland.

In fact, the side that scored fewer than Palace was Norwich City, who finished rock bottom of the table. Not only this, but the Eagles failed to win a single game from their last eight league outings.

Christian Benteke, who joined Palace in 2016 for £27m, has not lived up to his price tag. The Belgian started his first season started excellently, finishing the season with 15 domestic goals – the club’s top scorer.

However, it was all downhill from there, failing to net in the next campaign until December and then only bagging six league goals in total in the next three seasons. So, with this in mind, Palace will have to look elsewhere for goals.

Palace fans might be shocked to learn that Alexander Sorloth has had an extraordinary season in the Turkish SuperLig. He netted 24 times in just 34 league games and won the Turkish Cup for Trabzonspor with a goal in the final. Many will remember Trabzonspor’s new manager, Eddie Newton, for his time playing at Chelsea.

Starring in the notoriously fiery league is no small feat. The Norwegian striker failed to shine at Palace and was quickly shifted on loan to FC Gent then Trabzonspor.

Could Sorloth be a striking option for Palace this coming season? He certainly has the talent, but some players at some clubs just do not work and the fit might not be right. It all depends on whether manager Roy Hodgson has faith in his ability to reintegrate Sorloth into Palace’s attack.

After a spell in the Champions League’s sister competition, where they were unable to get out of the group stage and were ultimately an unpopular option in the UEFA Europa League betting, Trabzonspor will be in the UCL qualifiers. Would Sorloth give this up for a potential relegation fight with Palace?

There may be another option, however. Sorloth’s former teammate in Turkey, Daniel Sturridge, is reportedly eyeing a move back to the Premier League.

Speaking at his ‘training base’ in Los Angeles, California, Sturridge laid out his plans: "I believe I've got a lot to give to the Premier League and I would say that's my first choice. I do feel I have unfinished business so I would like to go back and play there.”

The two-time Champions League winner was released by Liverpool in 2019 and joined Trabzonspor on a three-year contract. However, just three months into his spell in Turkey, his contract with the club was terminated after receiving a four-month playing ban for breaching betting rules.

If Hodgson and the board are looking for a talented, lethal striker available for free, Sturridge is the standout candidate. He wouldn’t be the first previously troubled character that the club have opted to sign.

On a return to football, Sturridge said: "I'm very excited, I'm hungrier than ever and I'm totally focused on the next chapter."

Both Sturridge and Sorloth would be interesting options in Palace’s new-look attack, especially with the club operating on such a tight budget.

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