The silly season is well under way and it seems the board have released players without a new manager to approving their departure.
It may seem on the face of it that the players that have been released are obvious candidates to be shown the door. But in he absence of a new manager and the fact that Steve Parish said in an interview that we were only in the market for 1-2 players before Sam Allardyce resigned it is somewhat alarming that senior players who could be needed have been released.
I acknowledge that players who’s contracts are about to expire may not want to sign an extension to remain at the club but at the same time we are running the risk of being very short of experience in the squad.
Baring in mind that the moment the final whistle blew we lost Mamadou Sakho and Loic Remy because their loan contracts expired.
This means we will be without 6 senior squad players when next season kicks off, which makes the target of 1-2 players approved by Parish for Allardyce to sign all the more laughable.
I can only think that it is expected that our academy players will be expected to step up and fill the gaps, which is a very risky game to play.
Baring in mind our squad was barely up to the job as it was I don’t think expecting players to shine at Premier League level when they haven’t managed to do that at Championship level is a big ask.
I have no doubt we will sign players before the season starts, I just question the decision for sanction only 1-2 players when we clearly need 5+ to improve the depth of squad. Plugging the gaps with academy players makes me think someone is being tight with the £120m we were awarded by the Premier League.
Senior players released
Joe Ledley, who became a popular figure at Selhurst Park for his magnificent beard and dance moves, decided not to renew his contract and leaves on a free.
There is talk in the media that he will rejoin his hometown club Cardiff City but manager Neil Warnock has denied that any talks have taken place.
Ledley has a history of running down his contracts at clubs and leaving on the cheap. This was how we were able to sign him for a fairly low fee of just £2m in January 2014 as he only had a few months left on his Celtic contract.
Over the last few month while coming to the end of a three year deal with us he was little more than a squad player.
Fraizer Campbell, who signed for £900,000 in the summer of 2014, has also left. He never played more than a bit-part role for the team but did score some important goals including a late equaliser against relegation rivals Hull in December this season.
Campbell was signed by Tony Pulis just two weeks before he sensationally walked out on the club on the eve of the 2014/15 season. Had Pulis not left the club, who knows what role Campbell would have had in the team or how his career at Palace would have turned out.
Zeki Fryers was another player that rarely featured having also arrived in the summer of 2014 from Tottenham. Like Campbell, Fryers was a former Manchester United academy star who never really fitted in.
Fryers was signed by Warnock just after Pulis did a runner and had to wait 2 years before he had his longest run in the team under Pardew just before his sacking in the Autumn of 2016.
Mathieu Flamini, a French international midfielder leaves but I doubt anyone is really surprised about that. Flamini is in the twilight of a very successful career but is far from the player he once was and had been nothing more than a bench warmer.
That said he didn’t put a foot out of place whenever he did get on the pitch and him leaving will be a loss in terms of experience.
Jonathan Benteke, on the other hand, signed as part of a deal to bring his older brother Christian to the club last summer. It is no surprise that he has been released as there wasn’t any competition to sign him though to be fair to him he sustained a serious knee injury not long after joining which may have prohibited him from impressing.
Kewsi Appiah, signed from Margate in 2012, has also been let go after five years at the club. Despite plenty of potential he was never given a proper run in the team, mainly due to him sustaining an ACL injury in 2013,
However, during a spell that included loans to six other clubs, he was capped by Ghana and has gone on to become something of a hero in the African country, scoring a vital goal in an African Cup of Nations quarter-final victory over Guinea.
Players who have extended their stay at the club are Julian Speroni and Damien Delaney, who signed one year contract extensions and Jonny Williams who signed a new three contract this week.
Officially Confirmed Released and Retained Players
|Confirmed: Players Released by Palace|
|Confirmed: Players Retained by Palace|
Francis Jno Baptiste
Chung Yong Lee
Patrick van Aanholt