Why Crystal Palace should go for Younes Belhanda in January
Back in August, a report from Turkish Football had claimed that Crystal Palace were interested in signing Galatasaray playmaker Younes Belhanda. However, a deal didn’t go through.
Younes Belhanda, 29, impressed during last summer’s World Cup despite Morocco exiting the tournament in the group stages. Morocco went home placed bottom of their group with only one point from three games but in all the games, the midfielder stood out.
And Belhanda followed it up with a strong campaign for Galatasaray, bagging four goals and nine assists in 24 league games. He has hit the ground running in the new campaign with a goal and an assist so far. Considering the Moroccan’s performances, should Crystal Palace reignite their interest in the midfielder?
Without a shadow of a doubt, yes! Palace are absolutely over-reliant on Wilfried Zaha for the last few seasons and it’s high time he needs a player to share the burden on his shoulders.
The Ivorian has the ability to completely change games around with his pace, dribbling skills and elusive movement. However, Zaha has blown hot and cold so far this season that has left the Eagles wanting for other sources of inspiration in the final third.
Much was expected from Victor Camarasa, who joined Roy Hodgson’s side on a season-long loan from Real Betis back in August. Camarasa was one of the rare bright sparks in an otherwise dismal campaign for Cardiff City that ended in relegation. But the Spanish midfielder has barely played for his new club, with Hodgson yet to hand him a start in the league.
The Eagles are in desperate need for creativity in the midfield and Hodgson would do a smart job by signing Belhanda in January.
Belhanda is a former Ligue 1 title winner with Montpellier, where he was the playmaker who combined effectively with Olivier Giroud to fire his side to glory.
He is a versatile midfielder, really good at threading passes in behind the opposition and combining with teammates in and around the final third.
The French-born Moroccan’s technical abilities combined with his strength, stamina, drive and determination makes him a perfect fit for Hodgson’s old-school philosophy. Plus, he has already shown his quality to score vital goals in the Super Lig and help others in and around the forward line.
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Palace currently have a lot of options in central midfield but Belhanda is more than capable of competing for a place in the first-team, whilst also adding valuable depth in a key area of the pitch for the Eagles.
Still only 29, Belhanda has a lot to offer at the highest level and Palace should not hesitate to offer him a chance to showcase his talent in the Premier League.