Alan Pardew insists Yannick Bolasie is mentally prepared to line up in Crystal Palace’s opening Premier League fixture against West Brom.
The forward is reportedly on the verge of concluding a £30million transfer to Everton, but his club manager has insisted he will be available for selection at Selhurst Park.
Pardew also revealed he plans to sign two new forwards as well as “some other positions”, depending on “how that evolves”.
Asked if Bolasie had been training, was in Palace’s squad for the visit of West Brom and in the right frame of mind, the manager replied: “Yes. He’s been great. He’s been great.”
Two of the summer departures from Palace have included Emmanuel Adebayor and Dwight Gayle, so it is perhaps little surprise Pardew believes he requires two forwards.
The 55-year-old also spoke of his belief a lack of squad depth had contributed much to Palace’s poor run during the second half of the last season, and said he intended on replacing any further players who may leave.
“I will be looking to sign two forwards and also some other positions,” he said. “We will have to wait and see how that evolves.
“It was a positive (summer) for our club because we had Steve (Mandanda) and Yohan (Cabaye) in the final (of Euro 2016, with France).
“We had Jonny (Williams), Wayne (Hennessey) and Joe (Ledley) in the semi-finals. It was brilliant for us. We enjoyed watching it, the Welsh exploits: it was fantastic.
“They’re going to take that confidence into the season. Why wouldn’t you? It’s going to be a big benefit for us. Our physio works for Wales too, so it was the perfect crossover.”
Should Bolasie leave, or Pardew prove unable to recruit the forwards he has targeted, it is likely Jason Puncheon will continue to vie for selection in the final third.
A pre-season experiment featured him playing in a deeper-lying more central role, and of his potential there the manager said: “He is a player like Paul Scholes, who ended as a deep midfield player but started as a striker, who has great technique and ability with the ball.
“I don’t want to take that away. He can be an influence in many positions. There are some games where I have looked at him in pre-season and he has played a deep role.
“Whether he plays that this week, you will have to wait and find out. It is now an option. He has produced in pre-season; he can play that number eight role.”