Why Crystal Palace missed a trick by not signing Jean-Kevin Augustin?
According to a report from the Sky Sports, Crystal Palace were interested in signing RB Leipzig forward Jean-Kevin Augustin during the summer transfer window. However, a move didn’t go through and the Frenchman has since stayed with RB Leipzig.
Jean-Kevin Augustin, 22, who joined Leipzig from Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, made just 17 Bundesliga appearances last season as he faced strong competition from the likes of Timo Werner, Yussuf Poulsen and Marcel Sabitzer.
As far as Crystal Palace are concerned, the Eagles had a decent transfer window having signed the likes Gary Cahill, James McCarthy and Victor Camarasa, whilst making Jordan Ayew’s loan move a permanent one from Swansea City.
Even though Wilfried Zaha has stayed at the club, Roy Hodgson failed to address his team’s biggest problem, i.e. scoring goals.
A striker was believed to be at the top of Hodgson’s summer wishlist. Palace found the back of the net only 51 times last season, with Zaha once again shouldering the burden of scoring goals.
Skipper Luka Milivojevic, Andros Townsend and Chelsea loanee Michy Batshuayi also chipped in with some crucial goals that helped the south Londoners earn a respectable 12th place finish.
However, none of Christian Benteke, Jordan Ayew or Connor Wickham could contribute anything significant and Hodgson has taken the gamble of relying on them for the upcoming campaign. Jean-Kevin Augustin was exactly the kind of player the Eagles should have signed.
Augustin has struggled to build on the early promise that he showed following his move to Leipzig, but he is still a young player with a lot of time to develop and perfect his game. The Frenchman is blessed with blistering pace and power which allows him to make some penetrative runs in the attacking third of the pitch.
He tends to come alive in 1v1 situations and beat his marker with his dribbling skills, speed and trickery inside the opposition penalty box. The 22-year-old could lead the line or play as a secondary striker or on the left, which means he could have given Hodgson with some tactical flexibility.
With Augustin through the middle, Hodgson could have gone with Zaha and Townsend on the wings to create havoc in the opposition defence.
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Despite his struggles the last term, the versatile forward has a respectable tally of 20 goals and eight assists in 67 appearances for Leipzig, so perhaps he could have been of use to Palace for the right price.
Augustin would have not only added some much-needed pace to the Palace attack but also provided them with more productivity in front of the opposition goal. Hence, Hodgson and the Eagles have made a huge blunder by not signing the French speedster.