Why Crystal Palace getting Bakary Sako is a clever piece of signing
According to BBC, Bakary Sako has terminated his contract with West Bromwich Albion to re-join Crystal Palace. The 30-year-old signed a short-term deal with the Baggies last October when he was a free agent after turning down a new offer from the Eagles.
The Mali international had a serious knee injury last season but he recovered from it and was offered a new deal by Palace. However, the player wanted to explore new options. (Daily Mail)
Even after he joined West Brom, Palace were maintaining contact with him, and now manager Roy Hodgson has signed the player on a short-term deal (h/t BBC) Here’s why getting Sako could be a bonus signing from Crystal Palace’s point of view:
Palace could be more of a threat with him in the team
Bakary Sako is a versatile player who can play in any position across the forward line. His preferred position is on the left wing, but he is ideally suited to playing the second striker role/false nine and make runs in behind the defence.
Crystal Palace have struggled to be consistent in the final third despite having two of the better wingers in their side – Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend. The Eagles have three strikers at their disposal, but none of them has done enough to warrant a start on a regular basis. Their top-scorer is a defensive midfielder – Luka Milivojevic.
This the main reason why despite having some very good quality players, Palace are 14th in the table just three points away from the danger zone. And it is not an exaggeration to say that if they are not careful, they might get dragged into a late-season fight for survival.
Hence, signing someone who can play as a striker or as a false-9 and actually be a threat to the opposition defenders would benefit them a lot. It’s true that Bakary Sako isn’t the best choice, but if used in the right way, the Mali international could be a profitable arrival to the team.
He can make runs in behind, can hold up the ball to allow others to join in on the counter and can also score few goals if given an opportunity in the box. It is fair to say Palace won’t lose much now that they’ve offered him a short-term deal, rather they have gained something for the rest of this season.