Why Crystal Palace should go all out in their pursuit of Fedor Chalov
As per the report, the Eagles were prepared to offer as much as £23 million to bring the 21-year-old highly-rated frontman to Selhurst Park but CSKA Moscow were willing to play the waiting game for a better bid to be put on the table.
Fedor Chalov, who has come through the youth ranks at CSKA, is widely regarded as one of the best emerging striking prospects across the continent and the Mirror reported back in July that several top clubs, including Premier League giants Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs, were all keen to get their hands on the coveted starlet.
The 21-year-old has been a real revelation in Russia since bursting on to the scene back in the 2016-17 season and has earned rave reviews for his rapid development in recent years.
Chalov won the Golden Boot in the Russian Premier League for his tally of 15 goals in the previous campaign, while also impressing against the likes of Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League.
The talented striker, who has already been capped twice by Russia at the senior international level, has racked up a tally of 34 goals and 17 assists in 99 appearances across all competitions for his boyhood club, numbers which are overly impressive for a centre-forward aged just 21.
Chalov has already illustrated a level of maturity that belies his tender years as a striker in terms of composure, positioning, awareness and decision-making and it is not difficult to see why he is one of the most sought-after youngsters in Europe at the moment.
Crystal Palace, meanwhile, have made a decent start to their campaign, with Roy Hodgson’s side currently sitting 9th in the standings after winning 3 and drawing two of their first seven Premier League fixtures.
Despite that, however, the lack of goals continues to be a nagging issue for the club faithful after the Eagles missed out on numerous striking targets in the summer transfer window, Chalov being one of them.
They have managed only 6 in 7 games thus far, which is one of the worst in the division and Palace cannot expect to achieve too much with such a scoring record.
Hodgson ultimately ended up signing last season’s loanee Jordan Ayew on a permanent deal from Swansea City and, while the Ghanaian has come up with a few crucial strikes early in the season, his overall career strike rate doesn’t suggest that the Eagles can look up to him as a consistent source of goals week in, week out in the Premier League.
Plus, with Christian Benteke only a shadow of his former devastating self and Conor Wickham a regular on the treatment table, Palace desperately need to bring in a quality striker in January if they are really serious about moving away from mid-table obscurity and challenging for better things.
To put things into perspective, it is a no-brainer that a talented young striker like Fedor Chalov would be a massive coup for Crystal Palace in January, albeit they would need to come up with a better bid to tempt CSKA into selling him.
Also, with so many clubs circling around like sharks to nab him away, Palace would need to beat off stiff competition from several elite clubs to land his signature.
A fast, agile and intelligent striker blessed with a keen eye for defence-splitting through balls and an innate ability to put away chances with both feet and head, Chalov is only going to get better with time and it shouldn’t be a problem for him to acclimatise to the demands of playing in the Premier League.
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All in all, the Russian prodigy could be the ideal long-term solution to Palace’s goalscoring woes and, with that in mind, they should make a renewed attempt to prise him away from his homeland in January.