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Roy Hodgson may regret the fact that Crystal Palace did not sign former Leicester City star Demarai Gray before the close of the game on the deadline day after he starred in his Bundesliga debut with Bayer Leverkusen.
It took just 10 minutes for the 24-year-old to make his mark in the Bundesliga after he closed out a 5-2 win over Stuttgart on Saturday afternoon.
In stark contrast, Hodgson slashed a frustrated figure in the dugout as his side slumped to a disappointing one. 2-0 they beat Leeds United on Monday night and missed a chance to overtake Arsenal in the Premier League table.
Stripped of his main talisman, Wilfried Zaha, Palace failed to break through the impasse, and the defeat simply exposed some of the same old issues plaguing Hodgson’s side. It sounds almost obvious, but the Eagles lacked a true cutting edge as they ultimately fell short against Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
Palace has now won alone two of his last 18 Premier League games that the Ivory Coast international has been forced to miss for various reasons.
The eagles were reportedly interested in signing Gray in the winter transfer window, only for him to decline a move to Selhurst Park and agree personal terms with Bayer Leverkusen.
Now, that’s not to say that Gray could have been the perfect replacement for the absent Zaha, but there is no question that his presence would have helped soften the blow for Hodgson.
Signing the uncovered The England international would have been an almost immediate upgrade for Andros Townsend, who has lost a few shots this season – against Arsenal, he was rated one of the worst players on the pitch by SofaScore during the 0-0 draw with Mikel Arteta’s.
Therefore, if they had signed Gray, it is difficult to argue that Palace’s attack would not have improved. He has quickly made an instant impression on the Bundesliga in such an incredibly short span of time and it seems like he will be worth every penny of the £ 3 million Leverkusen reportedly spent on acquiring their services.
It could have been from Palace if Steve Parish had been willing to hand over the money. It’s easy to say in hindsight, but given Zaha and Jeffrey Schlupp’s injuries, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the Palace owner should have pulled the trigger.
And in other news, Luka Milivojevic drops Crystal Palace clanger against Leeds United …