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Bournemouth striker Benik Afobe could be on his way to join Crystal Palace in January. Recent reports have linked Roy Hodgson’s club with Afobe since the Eagles are in dire need of boosting their power up front. They did manage to claw their way out of the bottom spot but are still not far from relegation danger. Currently gracing the 17th spot, Palace have a long way to go and are targeting Afobe to bring about some much-needed sharpness to their attack.
The out-of-favour striker is estimated to cost £15million in January. He has been in and out of the starting XI ever since he joined the Cherries from Wolverhampton back in 2016 and has never truly established himself in the squad. Callum Wilson and Josh King always came ahead of Afobe during team selection and his troubles were further compounded with Jermain Defoe’s arrival. The 24-year-old does seem promising but is he strong enough to secure Palace’s top-flight status at the end of the season?
It is a tough question at this point since there are reasons that support and also go against Afobe. He has been starved of game time this season but whenever he’s come on, his displays have been encouraging enough. The player will be keen on joining a club like Palace where he can truly clock more minutes on the field – at least when compared to what he is doing at Bournemouth. At this point, it seems impossible for Afobe to make room for himself in Howe’s lineup and with Palace registering an interest in him, it might not be such a bad idea for him to make the move to Selhurst Park.
That said, his goal-scoring skills have not been proven up front. Palace already have Christian Benteke but they need another quality striker. Although Afobe boasts of such qualities, he has not really provided enough proof yet. The lack of game time is to be blamed but the Eagles are in a very precarious situation right now. They cannot take risks and shell out money on a player who may or may not perform, especially in such a dire situation.
Hodgson has rescued them from danger temporarily but they are still far from being safe. For that to happen, they need a quality player up front who can perform his best week in and week out. Afobe could be a potential striker for Palace but perhaps they need to scout the market for better options instead of making the plunge with the Bournemouth man.