Opinion may be divided on whether 2015-16 was a positive season for Palace: The campaign was ultimately a whisker away from the FA Cup but for a brief time it flirted with a relegation that had been unthinkable at one time.
One thing is certain, Alan Pardew and the club will have to deal shrewdly in the summer transfer window while hoping to hold on to some of its greater assets – Yannick Bolasie included. Here are five players who could keep the Eagles in the correct half of the table for 2016-17.
Having spent a positive season at Brentford, Tottenham midfielder Pritchard was expected to break through into Spurs’ first team but an injury picked up on international duty left him on the sidelines prior to a fruitless loan spell at West Brom.
Pritchard is a combative ‘box to box’ midfielder and one who can be a serious threat at set pieces. Rumours continue to suggest that his time at White Hart Lane is up but while Napoli are the latest to be linked, the 23 year may want to prove himself in the Premier League.
Talking of set piece specialists – Palace fans will not need to be reminded of the free kick that put Swansea ahead when the teams met in February. The Icelandic international may also have scored his country’s most important goal of Euro 2016 with the penalty that secured a point against Hungary in the group phase.
Sigurdsson is similar to Pritchard in many ways but at 26 he has sound Premier League experience and would represent less of a gamble. Leicester have been linked and the promise of Champions League football could prove too tempting but Selhurst Park is an ambitious alternative for the midfielder.
After a season that produced just four league goals, West Brom’s Berahino has been downgraded from ‘hot property’ to a player who mid-table sides might be willing to take a punt on. In January, it was Chelsea and Spurs in the frame but after that return and another troubled campaign, the latest set of frontrunners are… drum roll… Stoke City.
Palace are also mentioned and whatever you may read into the headlines, a move away is the one thing that could restart the player’s career. The only issue could be a holding club who are looking for the type of transfer fee that the Chelseas of this world were prepared to pay 12 months ago.
A transfer between Crystal Palace and Brighton is hardly likely to run smoothly so perhaps it’s no surprise to hear that the Championship side are looking for double the £5m fee that Palace were looking to offer.
With Brighton having failed in their promotion bid, Dunk is at the cliché that is the footballing crossroads – a player with Premier League aspirations who, at 24, needs to be playing in the top flight. Despite the obvious animosity between the two parties, this may well have further to run.
Joining Dunk at those crossroads – albeit for different reasons – is Andros Townsend. Surplus to Tottenham requirements a move to Newcastle saw the winger back in the England fold but while there are suggestions that he will stay at St James’s Park, would the 24 year old have made the final cut for Euro 2016 had he been at a Premiership club?
It’s a question that the player may ask himself over the summer amidst reports that Palace are ready to trigger an £8m release clause. And there you have a potential replacement for Bolasie: immensely talented and dangerous if somewhat inconsistent.