BY SAM SMITH
Roy Hodgson has hailed the signings made by Crystal Palace on a small budget since promotion.
Jordan Ayew’s goals have won the Eagles 14 points this season. The Ghanaian cost £2million in the summer following a temporary spell at Selhurst Park the previous campaign.
James McArthur – a £7.5m signing from Wigan in 2014 and one of the Eagles’ longest-serving players – has also impressed Hodgson.
“It is so difficult. Having money to buy players is not always the answer to your problems. It is knowing the players in our ballpark and getting them to the club,” said Hodgson.
“It is not a simple question of having £100m, it is very difficult as a coach to do that. We haven’t spent much as a club, but what we have done is establish a very solid base, and when we are looking to bring players in, we look to add fierce competition.
“But this group has done very well. Here we are finding ourselves in the middle of the table, and the players have been quite outstanding.
“James McArthur, he didn’t have his best game for the club, but he was still fighting and still running and encouraging us to go forward. Even when he came off, he jogged off, wanted to shake the hands of all the subs and staff and still shook hands with the player replacing him and wished him the best of luck.
“That’s the sort of player, if you can find them, you have got half a chance.”
Hodgson was asked if he felt Ayew was one of the best Premier League signings this season. He remained diplomatic – but is clearly impressed by the former Swansea City man’s displays.
Ayew scored his eighth goal of the season in Palace’s 1-0 win over Watford.
Hodgson said: “You would have to show me the other summer signings. We signed him in the summer, but we paid money to loan him last season, and he has shown his worth.
“I think he has got stronger, and we saw signs last season, but I am delighted for him.”
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