Crystal Palace must rue selling prolific star who has outscored Mateta

crystal palace must rue selling prolific star who has outscored mateta

Crystal Palace must rue selling prolific star who has outscored Mateta

Crystal Palace ended their Premier League season in emphatic fashion last weekend, putting five past fourth-place Aston Villa to really drive home the dramatic transformation that has occurred at the South London side following the arrival of Oliver Glasner earlier this year.

However, it's a two-way street, and as impressive as the Austrian is, he is certainly lucky to have a plethora of talented players to work with, players like Eberechi Eze, Michael Olise, Adam Wharton, and even Jean-Philippe Mateta.

The French striker has been electric in the last few months, and his hat-trick against the Villans on Sunday was just another reason why he should be considered a serious contender for the Golden Boot next season.

However, a former Palace flop has outscored him this year and is on track to win the Golden Boot in another top-five league.

Srloth's time with Palace

The Eagles paid around £9m to Danish side FC Midtjylland in the 2018 winter transfer window to bring Alexander Sørloth to Selhurst Park, and while the fee was pretty reasonable, there was a fair bit of excitement surrounding his arrival, considering he had racked up 15 goals and nine assists in just 26 games in the first half of the campaign.

However, his first six months in England did not go particularly well. He made just four appearances under Roy Hodgson, in which he failed to score a goal, and was excluded from the squad entirely for four games as well.

The following season was just as bleak for the Norwegian. In the first half of the campaign, he scored one goal and provided one assist in 16 appearances before being sent out on loan to Belgian outfit Gent in a desperate bid for him to find form. However, he would return to South London in the summer with just five goals and three assists to his name in 22 games.

With it clear that the Trondheim-born ace wasn't going to get any more game time in England, the club agreed to send him on loan to Turkish side Trabzonspor in August 2019, where he finally found some form and ended the season with a seriously impressive haul of 33 goals and 11 assists in 49 games.

This red-hot form saw Bundesliga side RB Leipzig take notice and pay around £18m for the striker in 2020, which Palace had to split 50-50 with Trabzonspor as the loan they had agreed the previous summer was supposed to be a two-year deal.

Alexander Srloth's Record

Team

Crystal Palace

KAA Gent

Trabzonspor

Appearances

20

22

49

Goals

1

5

33

Assists

1

3

11

Goal Involvements per Match

0.10

0.36

0.89

All Stats via Transfermarkt

In all, the 6 foot 5 marksman made 91 senior appearances in the years following his arrival in South London. Unfortunately, just 20 of those were for the Eagles, in which he scored one goal and provided one assist - talk about leaving a legacy.

Srloth's form this season

Despite coming off the back of a blockbuster campaign in Turkey, the Norwegian forward's next few years weren't particularly notable.

He would go on to score six goals and provide three assists in 37 games for Leipzig before spending the next two seasons on loan with La Liga side Real Sociedad, scoring 24 goals and providing five assists in 90 games for them.

Finally, after his second year in the Basque Country, Leipzig decided to sell the striker and, following his reasonably good performances in San Sebastián, fellow Spanish side Villarreal opted to take a chance on the former Palace flop, and what a decision that was.

In just 41 appearances across all competitions this season, the "physical" number nine, as described by Leipzig's former sporting director Markus Krösche, has scored 26 goals and provided six assists, meaning he's averaging a goal involvement every 1.25 games for the Yellow Submarines.

In comparison, Mateta, who has been unbelievable of late, has scored 19 goals and provided five assists in 39 games, meaning he averaged a goal involvement every 1.62 games this season.

Player

Srloth

Mateta

Appearances

41

39

Goals

26

19

Assists

6

5

Goal Involvements per Match

0.78

0.61

All Stats via Transfermarkt

Srloth vs Mateta this season

Ultimately, Palace weren't wrong to sell Sørloth when they did, as when he was given the chance to play for the first team, he was underwhelming at best. However, his story serves as a great example of why we shouldn't just write players off after a few bad seasons; they might just go on to fight for La Liga's Golden Boot.

Related

Crystal Palace star is becoming Glasner's best player alongside Olise & Eze

The incredible ace has been in superb form this season.

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