Crystal Palace transfer policy saw Roy Hodgson’s frontrunner thrive after summer change


When Roy Hodgson left Crystal Palace as manager last season, the club made a smart move to reshuffle their aging squad at the same time.

Over the summer, the Eagles released several first-team players and spent more than £ 50million to bring in Joachim Andersen, Will Hughes and Odsonne Edouard.

Under new manager Patrick Vieira, Crystal Palace has now rebranded its style of football and now focuses on possession-based play as opposed to the counter-attacking tactics employed by the Frenchman’s predecessor.

The result has been a steady improvement on the pitch, with club supporters seeing that Vieira’s squad are slowly developing and playing more catchy football.

But how are the players who left Selhurst Park at their new clubs? And will the Eagles regret letting one of them go? takes a look at how eight former Palace players started the 2021/22 season with their new clubs.

Gary Cahill

The 35-year-old spent two seasons at Selhurst Park after an eight-year trophy-laden stint at Stamford Bridge with Chelsea.

After a short period of not knowing where he wanted to go next, Cahill finally signed a one-year contract with the Bournemouth Championship side, teaming up with Scott Parker on the South Coast.

The center-back has already made three appearances for the Cherries and kept the sheets clean against Barnsley and Cardiff, helping Bournemouth to climb to the top of the table after eight games.

Gary Cahill quickly settled in Bournemouth

Mamadou Sakho

Crystal Palace paid off nearly a club record for Sakho when he was signed from Liverpool in 2017 following a successful loan to the club in the previous season.

The Frenchman, who turned 31 in February, was used sparingly by Roy Hodgson last season, making just six appearances before taking a hit in early 2021 that kept him sidelined for the rest of the countryside.

Following his exit from the club, Sakho was signed by Ligue 1 side Montpellier, where he has since made four league appearances for the club, starting each game.

With Joachim Andersen and Marc Guehi currently Palace’s first-choice center-backs, Sakho’s presence is sure to be sure to be in South London.

Patrick van Aanholt

Left-back van Aanholt was a popular figure during his time at Crystal Palace, with the Dutchman making 134 appearances for the club over five seasons and contributing with 14 goals in that span as well.

Last season the defender was alternated with young prospect Tyrick Mitchell, who, under Vieira, made the post his own after starting every Premier League game this season.

After his release, van Anholt was quickly taken over by Turkish club Galatasaray, where the full-back has already featured ten times. He even scored his first goal for the club against Randers FC in a Europa League qualifier in August.

Palace has covered Mitchell for Jeffrey Schlupp and has Reece Hannam, 21, available if Vieira wants the job.

Andros Townsend

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 13: Andros Townsend of Everton celebrates his side’s second goal during the Premier League match between Everton and Burnley at Goodison Park on September 13, 2021 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse / Getty Images)

Another popular player with Palace loyalists, Townsend spent five seasons in south London and left the club after scoring 16 goals in 185 appearances.

Of all the players who left this summer, Townsend arguably did the best for himself by switching to Everton from Rafa Benitez, who signed the 30-year-old for free to a two-year contract.

He’s hit the ground running and thriving in Merseyside, and already has three goals and three assists in seven appearances for the Toffees. The Englishman recently said his increased involvement in goals was due to his manager asking him to focus only on advancing the ball, as opposed to the increased defensive work he did under Hodgson.

Palace reportedly hoped to sign a replacement for Townsend, but didn’t get a deal until the window closed. So far this season, Jordan Ayew has started in this role, although the Ghanaian hasn’t scored a goal for the club since last November.

Michael Olise can play there as well and has played the last two games off the bench, while there is hope that 18-year-old winger Jesurun Rak-Sakyi will become a first-team player this season.

It’s too early in the season to say if Palace’s failure to sign someone in Townsend’s place will come back to hurt them, but of all the players who left over the summer his departure is likely the one Palace could have done without.

Connor wickham

A total of 50 appearances in six years at the club should tell you everything you need to know about Connor Wickham’s career at Crystal Palace.

The 28-year-old missed a total of 143 games with injuries during his time at the club, adding up to 1,004 days on the sidelines.

He was released at the end of his contract and has since found a short-term home in the Championship with Preston North End, having signed for the Lilywhites in September on a five-month contract.

Wickham made his first start for his new club on Tuesday night at the Carabao Cup, but his night was cut short as, after seven minutes, he had to be substituted after suffering a hamstring injury.

Wayne hennessey

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - AUG 25: Wayne Hennessey of Burnley in action during the Carabao Cup Second Round match between Newcastle United and Burnley at St James' Park in St. James Park on August 25, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, In England.  (Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images)
Wayne Hennessey in action during the Carabao Cup Second Round match between Newcastle United and Burnley at St James’ Park

The Palace’s first choice goalkeeper for several years, Waynes Hennessey left Selhurst Park when his contract expired after playing 132 times for the club.

He has since signed for Burnley on a two-year contract, where he is the understudy for England goalkeeper Nick Pope. Hennessey made his first appearance for Sean Dyche’s side at the Carabao Cup in August as Burnley beat Newcastle United 4-3 on penalties at St James’ Park.

The 34-year-old kept his clean sheet under normal circumstances before saving penalties from Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin to help his new side advance to the third round.

Palace still have Vicente Guaita as their starting goalkeeper this season, with Jack Butland also still at the club to challenge him. Vieira has also signed 27-year-old goalkeeper Remi Matthews from Sunderland, although his only appearance for Palace so far has been for the Under-23s.

James mccarthy

After spells with Wigan Athletic, Everton and Crystal Palace, James McCarthy’s 12-year association with the Premier League came to an end this summer as he returned to his birthplace to join Celtic.

The 30-year-old spent two seasons in south London and made 52 appearances during that time, joining the Hoops under new manager Ange. Postecoglou.

McCarthy has made five appearances for Celtic so far, most recently playing 72 minutes in a 1-0 loss to Livingston in the Scottish Premiership.

Palace currently have the most depth in their squad in central midfield, with Conor Gallagher and Will Hughes joining the club this summer to bolster their options.

Scott dann

One of the club’s oldest players at the time of his departure, Scott Dann left Crystal Palace at the end of his contract after signing for the club from the Blackburn Rovers in 2013.

The center-back made the fifth Premier League appearance for all Crystal Palace players with 164 and started the FA Cup final for the club against Manchester United in 2016.

The 34-year-old now plays in the Reading Championship, although he has yet to make an appearance for the Royals.

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