Answer to Hodgson’s woes? Crystal Palace must beat West Ham United to land this £6m-rated Bundesliga ace


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Crystal Palace should go all out to sign Sandro Wagner in January

According to the Sun, Bayern Munich’s former German international striker Sandro Wagner has attracted interest from London clubs Crystal Palace and West Ham ahead of the January transfer window.

The Sun claims that the 30-year-old German is frustrated with his lack of playtime having started only once in the Bundesliga this term and wants a move away from the Allianz Arena in January.

Wagner, who is rated at £6 million by Bayern Munich, is likely to be up for grabs during the mid-season trading period and both the London outfits are looking to pen his signature to spearhead their forward line.

Palace need a striker to solve their goalscoring crisis due to the long-term injury to Christian Benteke while Javier Hernandez’s lacklustre performances have prompted Manuel Pellegrini to make a move for the powerful German to complement Marko Arnautovic up front. (h/t Sun)

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A couple of fruitful seasons at Hoffenheim where he scored 18 goals from 51 appearances across all competitions, earned Wagner a move back to his boyhood club Bayern Munich in January 2018. The 30-year-old hit the ground running in the second half of the 2017-18 season at Bayern, scoring 8 goals from 14 appearances in the Bundesliga.

However, he has been frozen out of the first-team picture by manager Niko Kovac this term with the manager preferring to use Robert Lewandowski as the spearhead of the attack. Quite clearly, Wagner has found it difficult to displace the Polish talisman as the team’s first-choice No.9.

As things stand, he would be an ideal addition for both Palace and West Ham but the Eagles should try to draw first blood in this transfer saga to land the hugely experienced German forward.

As evident from their goalscoring record, Roy Hodgson’s men have struggled to find the net this season, having scored only 8 goals so far from 13 games.

The Eagles have been hit hard by the long-term knee injury to Christian Benteke and Andros Townsend hasn’t risen to the occasion to deliver the goods. Swansea loanee Jordan Ayew has put in the hard yards in front of goal without much result, leaving Wilfried Zaha to cut a sorry and isolated figure up front more often than not.

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Quite clearly, Palace are in dire need of a talismanic centre-forward in January to get their Premier League campaign back on track. The Eagles are just hovering above the relegation zone and they need more goals to avoid the drop this season.

And Sandro Wagner might be the ideal man to answer Roy Hodgson’s prayers. Standing at 6ft. 4 inches with a towering frame, Wagner has an obvious height advantage over most of his defensive counterparts and gets off the ground quickly to beat the defenders in the air.

This makes him a genuine threat from corners and set-pieces. In fact, Wagner averaged 4.5 successful aerial duels per game in the second half of the last season at Bayern, which is quite an insane number for a centre-forward.

Using his massive frame to shield the ball from the defenders, the German is known for his ability to hold the ball in the final third for his teammates to get into scoring positions. He also has the ability to combine effectively with his teammates with short and incisive passes in the final third, making him as a useful asset to the team.

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Wagner is neither the fastest nor the most agile striker around but he uses his instincts as a striker to make runs behind the defenders to get to the ball first. Blessed with good awareness, he has the tendency to lose his marker inside the box and has a deadly eye for goal from close range. In fact, he also has the ability to find the net with powerful shots from outside the box, something that adds to his repertoire of skills.

That said, Palace should take the initiative and aim to have the final say over their London rivals in this transfer tussle as Wagner,30, still has a lot to offer at the highest level.

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