Crystal Palace flops heading for winter exit; others could follow
Crystal Palace may opt to sell Christian Benteke and Connor Wickham in January, with the duo seemingly surplus to requirements.
That is according to a report in The Sun, which suggests a lack of action could see them depart.
The pair both signed new deals during the past 18 months but they will expire next summer. Therefore, rather than lose them for nothing, the Eagles may look to do business in the winter window.
Having joined Palace in 2016, Benteke enjoyed a decent start to his Selhurst Park career. However, his form has tailed off badly in recent seasons, and he is no longer a goal threat.
Roy Hodgson appears to have lost faith, with the Belgium international featuring mainly for the Under-23s this term.
Big things were expected from Wickham when he arrived in the summer of 2015. But the former England Under-21 star has failed to live up to his billing.
He has made just 50 appearances for Palace and has not started a Premier League game since the 2016/2017 campaign.
The Hereford-born striker returned to former loan club Sheffield Wednesday for the second half of last season. He scored twice from 13 outings and it remains to be season if The Owls swoop in the new year.
Scoring goals has not been easy for Palace this term, with just eight bagged so far. Therefore Hodgson cannot afford to carry two passengers who have little future at the club.
Next up for the capital outfit is the visit of Leeds United on Saturday. It seems unlikely that either man will play any part.
Winter exodus on the cards?
The same report claims that 13 Eagles players will be out of contract next summer. That means there is much work to be done in the coming months.
Patrick Van Aanholt, Vicente Guaita and James McCarthy are players that Hodgson wants to remain. New deals could be offered, with defenders Gary Cahill and Mamadou Sakho also thought to have a Palace future.
One player that the former England boss is said to be eyeing is Middlesbrough’s Djed Spence. The attacking full-back has been turning heads with his displays for the Teessiders.
Many clubs have been credited with an interest, with Palace among his supposed suitors. Whether there is any truth in the rumours only time will tell but it seems inevitable that he will move on.
Boro chief Neil Warnock will doubtless play hardball, with Everton and Wolves also thought to be keen.