Aaron Lennon Would’ve Been Perfect For Palace
A fast, skillful winger is just what we need
The hinges are beginning to squeak as transfer window starts to close. There are just 10 days left for Crystal Palace to sign some reinforcements that the squad so badly needs.
One of the positions we need strengthening is the wing after injuries to Andros Townsend and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, the latter being deployed there even though it isn’t his natural position.
In fact, since Loftus-Cheek picked up an injury we’ve been deploying James McArthur on the right wing/right midfield and he has looked like a fish out of water. Occasionally he’d swap sides with Wilifred Zaha but we all know McArthur isn’t at home on the flank.
So, when a player of Lennon’s quality is made available, especially at a cheap (by today’s standards) price, you have to wonder why we didn’t go in for him. It is exactly the same situation as when Andros Townsend left Tottenham to go to Newcastle, I thought we should have tried to sign him then too.
The case for
Lennon has played 369 league games for Leeds, Tottenham and Everton scoring 34 goals. Only one of those seasons, his second in senior football, was in the Championship. He is a vastly experience Premier League winger who is fast, skilful, a good crosser of the ball.
Lennon has been capped at every England level from U17 through to 21 caps for the senior England team and being included in the 2006 World Cup Final squad and 2010 World Cup Final squad, playing games in both tournaments.
The case against
Lennon is 30, he’ll be 31 in April and has been unable to hold down a place int he Everton team even though he has played 15 times this season.
On 30th April 2017, Lennon was detained under the Mental Health Act 2007. He was taken to hospital “for assessment” after police were called to Salford over concerns for his welfare.
Lennon is now “receiving care and treatment for a stress-related illness”, Everton club has said.
Speaking shortly after returning for pre-season training in July, he said he had received “incredible” support from “Everton, Spurs, their fans, football fans and concerned members of the general public”.
To some people, this is a problem but speaking as someone who has been diagnosed with mental health problems I can say that is pure nonsense and it is utterly reprehensible to even suggest it.
What might have happened
I think we didn’t make an enquiry about Lennon. We all know a player’s agent pimps their client out to get the best deal so it is unlikely the club didn’t know Lennon was available. That said either we were not interested or the player wasn’t interested.
I can’t believe for one minute that Burnley seems like a bigger club than Palace to Lennon or that they can afford to pay him more wages than we can. I would doubt it came down to money because Burnley run a ‘tight ship’, so to speak.
I can believe that Lennon might prefer to play for Sean Dyche over Roy Hodgson because he could hold a grudge for not being selected for England duty under Roy during his England tenure. I think most people would assume Dyche will move on from Burnley at the end of the season so it would be a very short-term view to pick Burnley because of the manager.
Could it be down to the style of football? I would say both Burnley and Palace play a style of football that would appeal to a winger, us more so because of the players we have. Surely Yannick Bolasie and Sam Allardyce would have sold the club to him?
I can imagine that Lennon might want to stay in the north. Burnley is in the Manchester area, sort of, and I’m led to believe that he lives in the Manchester area so he wouldn’t have to move.
If Lennon didn’t want to live in London then we all know most players live in the home counties and commute in every day. Lennon could live anywhere within an hour’s drive, more if he wanted to and drive to the training ground. People think of Palace as a London club but in reality, the club is in Surrey.
If you think of a London club people tend to think of everything being in London. For example, Chelsea train in Cobham and Fulham in Motspur Park, two of the most central London clubs you can find yet they train in Surrey too. The London thing is a smokescreen.
The only logical thing I can think of is that Parish doesn’t rate him, you know that great footballing brain? Sure, Roy might not have selected him for England but club football is a different animal entirely.
So it looks like we are getting a Swedish player on loan, who was a free transfer 2 weeks ago because his new club doesn’t think he’ll be up to playing for them yet. A player who played for Malmö last season won’t jump into a Premier League team and hit the ground running.
It makes no sense that we overlooked making a move for Lennon and had we done it would have been in the news, the agent would have seen to it to squeeze a better deal for his player.
I know that Townsend made the bench yesterday but even so, going forward with just two wingers makes no sense. Signing Lennon would free up Zaha or Townsend to move into the middle to play off Benteke. At the very least it would offer options off the bench and enable rotation.
Our transfer policy makes no sense!