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Why Cenk Tosun Could Be the Perfect Fit for Crystal Palace

BREMEN, GERMANY - AUGUST 03: Cenk Tosun of FC Everton gestures during the pre-season friendly match between SV Werder Bremen and FC Everton at Wohninvest Weserstadion on August 03, 2019 in Bremen, Germany. (Photo by Cathrin Mueller/Getty Images)

January is an exciting and hectic time for football fans. From with keeping up with the latest transfers, anticipating how certain players may do at their new clubs, to a packed schedule that soccer betting enthusiasts can revel in with its unpredictability, it’s a month that brings about plenty to discuss.

Following his sublime opener against Manchester City on the weekend, the loaning of Cenk Tosun could prove an excellent bit of business for Crystal Palace. The centre-forward found himself out of sorts at Everton in Marco Silva’s spell as manager and, after being deemed surplus to requirements by Carlo Ancelotti, the opportunity to find his form in Roy Hodgson’s side could be beneficial for both him and the South London club.

Tosun’s role

Throughout his career, the Turkish international has been noted for his powerful heading and adept aerial play, making him a dream outlet for wingers to distribute to. The implementation of Roy Hodgson’s back to basics style, with Palace relying on a rigid defensive foundation, has seen them keep a consistent level in the middle of the Premier League and become a real challenge to overcome for the rest of the division.

With the always impressive and dynamic Wilfred Zaha and the quick feet of Jordan Ayew, Tosun’s target man style will give Hodgson something alternative to work with for the remainder of the season – seeing that the player stays fit. 

Playing to their strengths by utilising wingers who can double up as second strikers, Tosun will have plenty of support around when playing in the centre of Palace’s front third. Standing at 6’0” and with physicality compared to the likes of Andy Carroll, Tosun may just be the final piece of the puzzle to solve Palace’s goal-scoring woes – the Selhurst Park team having only scored 22 goals in 23 games.

From the back

Since taking over from Frank de Boer in late 2017, Roy Hodgson has implemented a more traditional, rugged style of play that aims to frustrate any attempts at free-flowing, attacking football.

Crystal Palace are the number 1 team in the Premier League to use their left flank the most in a match, which is no surprise given their highly sought after star man Wilfried Zaha plays there. They are also one of the lowest-ranked teams in terms of possession, with 45.8% on average over the first half of the season.

In terms of going on the offensive, Palace has a more mixed style that favours neither long balls nor shorts ones – but rather adapts to the situation on the fly. More specifically, they like to counter-attack their opposition by overloading the wings and forcing crosses and set-piece opportunities for their forward men. 

This should be a welcome style of play for Tosun who, given his career so far, has enjoyed his time at clubs like Beşiktaş where a sole striker is favoured over forward partners.

Palace’s next three games are Southampton, Sheffield United and Crystal Palace. Tosun will hope, just as he did at Manchester City, he can make an impact in these matches and turn Palace into a more offensive threat.

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