OUR columnist ALEX WHITE on transfer market frustration and why Crystal Palace must keep 'fans icon' Glenn Murray...
FINALLY, something all Palace fans have been waiting on the edge of their seats for - a signing!
The new boy comes in the rather large form of Brede Hangeland, the former Fulham skipper who was released by the Cottagers at the end of last season.
In his time at Fulham, Hangeland impressed with his strength and power but also his intelligence and professionalism on and off the pitch. Brede brings much needed experience to the Eagles backline and bar a left back, it seems our strongest area on the pitch. The battle for the centre half spot alongside Scott Dann will be an interesting one that's for sure; with Damien Delaney's form last season Hangeland is really going to have to impress on the training pitch.
From us being linked to almost every single player in the market one week to the next having close to no rumours is a very strange phenomenon. I'm sure the frustration is growing within Palace fans and they have every right to be, with the squad clearly lacking bodies. Since the opening of the window we seemed to have been linked to a player in every single position!
The big question raised for me is actually what position we should be prioritising. The obvious position would be a left back considering we don't have a senior left back remaining in the squad. Jerome Williams certainly looks talented but is he ready to occupy the left back slot in the country's top division?
We seem pretty comfortable up front with poachers in Gayle and Campbell and target men in Chamkah and Murray, so I feel pretty optimistic in that department. The central midfield to me seems strong, even with the departure of KG. I hope this brings a chance in the first team for the likes of Bannan and Williams and a more like for like replacement in Adlene Guediora. The reality is that our squad is thin on the ground and needs bolstering with talent rather than quantity. I would struggle to name a 25-man squad with what we have; a big few weeks for the board are coming.
Being thin on the ground is uncomfortable at the best of times; it's even more uncomfortable when the only speculation regarding transfers is players leaving the club. We are all anticipating the exit door for Owen Garvan and Stephen Dobbie and you'd expect any offer for Peter Ramage or Paddy McCarthy to be considered.
The one rumour that worries me is the speculation about the departure of Glenn Murray. The club has reportedly turned down an offer from Reading and Dougie Freedman and Bolton are supposedly interested too. It would be a crime to let Glenn leave; he had a massive influence at the back end of last season. He didn't get bundles of game time and only scored one goal but his return was a major lift around the place.
Murray has been the backbone of our side over the last few seasons and is an example of what Palace stands for. He is a fans icon and more importantly knows where the goal is. I couldn't think of many other players that you would want standing on the six-yard box. I don't think Glenn will start every game but believe he can make a massive influence next season. All it takes is seven or eight goals next season for Murray for that supposed £3million look like peanuts.
Murray deserves his chance and more importantly, what fan doesn't love the man!