Roy Hodgson: Crystal Palace have wanted squad refresh for a lengthy period of time

BY EDMUND BRACK

Roy Hodgson has revealed that Crystal Palace have been discussing the idea of adding a hint of youthful exuberance to the squad for a “long time.”

The Eagles have fielded the oldest squad in the Premier League this season, with the average age of the starting line-up close to 29 years old (28.8).

Added to the conundrum of the ageing squad, the South London club have 11 first-team players out of contract at the end of June.

There remains a distinct possibility that this upcoming window could have considerable ramifications on Palace’s top-flight status.

When asked if there was a desire to refresh the Crystal Palace squad in the coming summer, Hodgson said: “We have talked about it for a long time – we talked about it last summer. Going into this season we were probably talking about ‘it would be good if we could sign some younger players and introduce some new faces to help the guys who have been here for so long, to introduce some youthful energy and running power’.

“It wasn’t possible for us last year. We achieved it with one player, we got Eberechi Eze, who I think is an outstanding talent and certainly the type of player the club is going to need going forward, but we could only introduce the one.

“There is no shortage of intention or hope that it will be the case, and with so many players out of contract this season, it’s pretty obvious that either we’re going to carry on as a club with exactly the same group as we have had for the last four years, or there will be perhaps players coming in who will help the ones who have been here for so long, by bringing in a bit of competition and maybe bringing in a bit of youthful energy.”

 


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