Why Jean-Philippe Mateta to Crystal Palace would bolster their attack
According to The Guardian, Crystal Palace are interested in signing Mainz star Jean-Philippe Mateta this summer.
The report suggests that the Frenchman has attracted a lot of interest from the Premier League in the past but they will have to fork out £27m to secure his services. It also claims that Palace are keen to strengthen their attack and Mateta is one of their targets.
Born in France, Mateta started his journey with his hometown club Olympique de Sevran before rising through the youth ranks of LB Chateauroux. After making 27 appearances for the former side, he was signed by Lyon in September 2016.
However, he struggled at Groupama Stadium, making just 2 league appearances and was sent on loan to Le Havre. He excelled with the Ligue 2 side, scoring 19 goals in 37 games, which earned him a move to the Bundesliga with Mainz in the summer of 2018.
The 23-year-old scored 14 goals in his first season in Germany but an injury took a toll on him as he missed the first half of the 2019/20 campaign. He returned in the latter stages of the campaign and managed to find the back of the net thrice in 18 games.
Mateta could be a future leader in Palace’s attack
The Eagles endured a torrid end of the 2019/20 campaign as they finished in the 14th position in the league standings. Roy Hodgson’s men managed to score just 31 goals through the last campaign, which is the second-lowest in the league. And this shows that they need to bring in reinforcements to their attack.
First-choice striker Jordan Ayew scored just 9 goals and ended as the club’s top-scorer last season. Winger Wilfried Zaha managed just 4 goals, whereas Christian Benteke found the back of the net on just two occasions. Thus, with a lack of consistency in front of goal from their forwards, it is necessary for Palace to bring in attacking reinforcements.
In that regard, Mateta would be a fantastic addition to the squad. Though he struggled last season with injuries, he has been consistent in the last couple of seasons. He has shown potential and Palace taking a chance on him could be beneficial.
His inclusion would bring healthy competition to the strikers in the squad, whilst he could also provide them with some much-needed goals.
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With Conor Wickham and Benteke entering the final year of their contracts, it is necessary for Palace to bring in strikers with a view for the future. And Mateta could provide them with the quality and depth upfront. Thus, they should sign the Frenchman this summer.