Why Crystal Palace should reignite interest in Fedor Chalov

Back in August last year, a report from Sky Sports claimed that Crystal Palace had a bid in the region of £14m turned down by CSKA Moscow for highly-rated striker Fedor Chalov. 

The 22-year-old had been mentioned as a top target for Palace manager Roy Hodgson while he was also understood to be on the radar of Monaco, Valencia and Lazio. However, Chalov poured cold water on those speculations by staying put in his homeland and has continued to strengthen his credentials as a top young prospect. 

Profile

A youth exponent of CSKA Moscow, Fedor Chalov made his first-team breakthrough in the Russian Premier League during the 2016-17 season. He bagged 12 league goals for CSKA over the course of his first two campaigns, despite playing a bit-part role. 

Who is Fedor Chalov and should Chelsea sign him? - The Chelsea Chronicle
Fedor Chalov had been linked with Crystal Palace last year (Getty Images)

Chalov subsequently established himself as a regular starter during the 2018-19 season and went on to plunder 17 goals and 7 assists in 37 appearances across all competitions. That included a goal and an eye-catching display in a 3-0 win over Real Madrid in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League.

The 22-year-old has struggled to hit the same heights over the past 18 months, scoring just 9 times in 39 appearances last season while finding the net twice in 14 outings so far this term. (h/t Transfermarkt)

Despite that, however, Chalov’s overall tally of 41 goals and 28 assists in 139 appearances for CSKA Moscow in all competitions makes for impressive reading on paper. 

Chalov would add more depth to Palace’s attack

Palace re-signed Michy Batshuayi on a season-long loan deal from Chelsea to bolster their striking options in the summer. The Belgian, though, is yet to make a positive impression, failing to find the net in 5 PL appearances so far. Batshuayi may yet come good for Palace in the coming months but his long-term future at Selhurst Park remains undecided.

Fedor Chalov's Agent Reveals Why Crystal Palace Failed With £14m Bid for Striker | 90min
Chalov has bagged 41 goals and 28 assists in 139 appearances for CSKA Moscow (Getty Images)

Regardless of what the future holds for Batshuayi, Palace should line up some alternative options in the market to replace the likes of Christian Benteke and Connor Wickham. Both players are out of contract next summer and have made little to no impact over the past few years due to recurrent injuries.

Last season’s top scorer Jordan Ayew remains a reliable option alongside star man Wilfried Zaha but Palace ideally need another out-and-out centre-forward in their ranks. And reigniting interest in Fedor Chalov would make a lot of sense in footballing terms.

The Russian international has long been regarded as a top young prospect and has started to deliver on his potential. Chalov has backed up his strong domestic performances for CSKA Moscow with some quality displays in the Champions League and Europa League. That clearly shows he’s ready to make the step up to a bigger platform moving forward.

Chelsea 'monitoring CSKA Moscow ace Fedor Chalov and want to sign him in January' | Daily Mail Online
Crystal Palace should return for Fedor Smolov (Getty Images)

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Verdict

Fedor Chalov has struggled to find his best form in Russia over the past 12 months but that’s only normal for a young striker aged just 22. His ability and potential certainly can’t be called into question and he still has his best years ahead of him. Having said that, Palace should start keeping tabs on him once again with a view to signing the Russian as a part of their long-term plans.

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