You are here: Home > News > The 2023-24 Premier League Preview
October 4 2023 4.43pm

The 2023-24 Premier League Preview

August 7 2023

Roy Hodgson

Roy Hodgson

It's a feeling we Crystal Palace fans know all too well: there's an air of uncertainty around Selhurst Park heading into the new season, writes Ben Leyland.

Roy Hodgson remains a reassuring presence in the home dugout even as fans hold their collective breath over Palace’s movement, or lack thereof, in the transfer market. It's not as simple for Hodgson and the recruitment team, though.

Historically, the transfer market is treacherous and the Saudi craze this summer has only made navigating the market more difficult. Prices have gone up as clubs try to milk every possible cent out of the buying club.

Palace have released three stalwarts who played a crucial role in keeping the Eagles in the Premier League for the last decade. McArthur, Milivojevic, and Zaha left the club at the end of the 2022/23 season.

The departure of Zaha, in particular, means the manager must find a new talisman from his talented squad around whom he can build his team. The Ivorian international switched his boyhood club for the Turkish side Galatasaray on a free transfer.

In attack

Eberechi Eze has already shown glimpses of what the future holds for the Selhurst Park faithful. If all is well, the England international could very well hit double figures in goals scored for the second season running.

After all, Hodgson has brought the best out of the 25-year-old since returning to take over from Patrick Vieira in March. Just why Viera used Eze sparingly when Palace were struggling is a question only the Frenchman can answer.

Luckily, the attacking midfielder has hit his best form in a Palace shirt under the watchful eyes of Hodgson. From now on, he should thrive on the extra goal-scoring responsibility following Zaha’s departure.

Whether Eze could be the ultimate talisman this time around remains to be seen. The bookmakers are already getting fired up, with the season set to kick off imminently, and have the initial prices set.

As it stands, outright markets for Premier League bets have Crystal Palace priced at odds of 500/1 to walk away with the crown at the end of the campaign and odds of 1/12 to retain our rightful place in the league.

In defence

The arrival of Lerma in SE25 from Bournemouth on a free transfer is a smart move. The versatile Colombian international primarily plays as a central midfielder or a defensive midfielder, the two positions McArthur and Milivojevic played.

In terms of reliability, Lerma is a potential game-changer. The 28-year-old has averaged at least 30 games in each of the five seasons he spent on the south coast.

He featured in all but one of Bournemouth’s games last season, scoring a career-high five goals as he made late runs into the opposition’s box.

Lerma can partner with the combative Doucoure as part of a double pivot in a 4-2-3-1 formation, screening the centre-backs by breaking up play, winning aerial duels, and recycling the ball.

His excellent positional sense allows him to read the game and step out at the right time to intercept the ball. In the 2022/23 Premier League season, only Declan Rice (334), Rodri (301), and Idrissa Gueye (266) made more ball recoveries than Lerma (260).

The Lerma-Doucoure defensive midfield partnership can potentially give Crystal Palace the solid base needed to launch attacks.

For a position where Palace were light in quality and numbers last season and regularly struggled to assert themselves, Lerma is a proven Premier League-level player who will help make Palace a more challenging proposition.

Despite the fans craving for a marquee signing, this is a tricky transfer market. No manager will authorise a signing unless it is worth every penny, definitely not the elder statesmen of the Premier League.

With excellent man-management skills and intelligent tactics, Palace can get away with a frugal summer expenditure. Maybe, even compete for a top-ten finish while at it.

Latest Headlines

Palace Talk Forum Latest

Palace Injuries + return dates
at 4.32pm by Midlands Eagle

Darren England
at 4.27pm by tshepp897

Palace Injuries + return dates
at 4.26pm by Lanzo-Ad

Team for Saturday
at 4.25pm by DANGERCLOSE

Palace Injuries + return dates
at 4.03pm by monkey

Palace Injuries + return dates
at 3.54pm by Putitout

You are here: Home > News > The 2023-24 Premier League Preview