Roy Hodgson is hoping that his striking options can be boosted this summer – but admits that it has been a position that Crystal Palace have been trying to bolster since he came to the club.
The Eagles chief has tended to play a 4-3-3 formation and has not been blessed with options in that area.
His first-choice triumvirate is often Christian Benteke with Jordan Ayew and Wilfried Zaha deployed either side.
Both Alexander Sorloth and Connor Wickham have been loaned out this season, cutting the centre-forward numbers down in the squad.
Hodgson said: “I think that in the three years, certainly the last two years, where Doug [Freedman] has been in overdrive in the scouting department, there has been no shortage of names and players that we think would be players who could come in and make us a stronger unit to help us do a little bit better.
“But there is a lot that has got to fall into place. Not least the transfer fee and the wages.
“These are constant headaches for Steve Parish [chairman] and Doug Freedman but I am more than happy with the amount of work the club has put in to try and identify the right people, in tandem with myself and the coaching staff with the profiles we’ve set up. What remains to be seen is when we kick off the new season what the squad looks like, we’d all like it to be a bit stronger.
“I’m confident that the club will do everything within its power to get to that position. But of course we’ve been looking to get into that position for the last two-and-a-half years from the January I came into the club and it has not always been possible to bring it about.
“I am confident that we’ve got the right research and that the right work has been done but it is not as easy as all that then for the people to make the deals happen and to get the players that you would like to come and join you.
“It is too easy sometimes as a coach to say: ‘Yeah, I’m confident they will do it’. I wouldn’t like always to be in the position of the people who’ve got to negotiate the deals because I know how hard a job that is.
“I am confident and optimistic that it will happen, I know that everyone is working as hard as they can possibly work to make it happen. This run of results, this period we’ve gone through which we are all unhappy about, really it might be the precursor to having a situation at the start of next season where we feel very confident.
“We have a very good nucleus here, the nucleus is certainly good and when everybody is fit it is very good. It is not as if we need to overhaul everything that is going on, we just need to add those chess pieces which will give us the chance to dominate the chess match.”
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