A successful transfer window for Crystal Palace?
(Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

Following the disastrous end to the 2019/20 season, a campaign which saw the Eagles' record their worst goal scoring return in the club's 115-year history, in conjunction with a dejected seven game losing run, three main factors were highlighted as needing urgent treatment; age, goals and depth.  

Steve Parish and Dougie Freedman, armed with a checklist, began the window off by raiding the Championship for two of the league's brightest stars. 

20-year-old versatile defender, Nathan Ferguson, who had been courted by Palace for some time, joined on a three-year-deal from West Bromwich Albion with a fee still to be agreed by a tribunal. 

Following Ferguson through the door at Selhurst Park would be Eberechi Eze. This was Palace's marquee signing, a real statement of intent from the board. 

The 22-year-old creative spark was a shining light for QPR last season, cultivating a hunger for scoring goals whilst displaying his keen eye for a defence splitting pass.  

Eze joined the club for a fee that could rise to £20 million, becoming the south Londoners third most expensive signing, behind Mamadou Sakho and Christian Benteke.  

The next objective was a striker, someone who could covert the chances that Wilfried Zaha, Jordan Ayew and the new addition, Eze would create. After a short, failed pursuit of Ollie Watkins, only one man fit the bill, Michy Batshuayi.  

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Palace held their cards close to their chest from the remainder of the international window, with an opening day victory over Southampton, followed by a rampant 3-1 display away to Manchester United kick-started Palace's new season into life.  

There was interest in Rhian Brewster, with the hierarchy eager to add a permanent goal scoring threat to partner Batshuayi. However, the Eagles' were slightly put off by the buy-back-clause which Liverpool insisted on including for any deal around the Under-17 World Cup Golden Boot winner.  

Perhaps the most successful part of the window was yet again keeping hold of talismanic figure, star man and most fierce outlet, Wilfried Zaha. The 27-year-old was waiting for a side with European pedigree to take a chance on the whimsical forward, however, nothing came. 

There was a chance that Atlético Madrid would try their luck with Zaha on deadline day, having had an influx of financial power, following the sale of Thomas Partey to Arsenal but there was little time for any deal to be reached, with Palace uncomfortable to sell their prize asset so close to the deadline.  

With just under two weeks left of the domestic window, there was a passion to add a further threat from the wide area, a forward was still the main aim, 

Watford's Ismaïla Sarr and Brentford's Saïd Benrahma were two names heavily linked to a potential move to Selhurst Park. Nothing would materialise with either player - Benrahma would seal a deadline day move to West Ham United, and a failed £25 million bid from Palace for Sarr was laughed out of Vicarage Road.  

Palace did add cover at right-back, welcoming home Nathaniel Clyne on a short-term deal after the 29-year-old was released from Liverpool in the summer.  

Wayne Hennessey was injured on international duty for Wales and is expected to find himself sidelined for a lengthy period of time, thus pressing Palace to sign Jack Butland on a three-year deal, rounding off the Eagles' summer window.   

Was the window a success? 

Whilst Roy Hodgson has finally been back in a transfer window, the first time since he joined 2017, there is still a slight hint of disappointment over the business Palace completed.  

Eze has displayed his Premier League quality from the first minute he stepped onto the pitch, gliding past Kyle Walker-Peters, taking to his new surroundings elegantly.

Eze is a 'franchise player' he will be the face of Crystal Palace for a long time to come, as he looks to establish himself as the main focal point for the team, in a similar way he did at QPR.  

Belgian international Batshuayi enjoyed a fruitful loan spell in the second half of the 2018/19 campaign, scoring 6 goals in 13 games. Despite joining on a season-long loan, Batshuayi adds a dangerous option to Palace's artillery and he can instinctively score goals in a Hodgson side, which has proved to be an arduous task for other out and out goal scorers.  

Although Nathan Ferguson is still recovering from a long-term knee injury, the promising defender has potential in abundance, and when he should return to first team duties, Ferguson will look to cement himself as the regular first-choice right-back. 

Clyne will supply excellent back-up for Joel Ward, while Ferguson recovers, and Butland will provide healthy competition to undisputed first-choice, Vicente Guiata

Palace have added goals, depth and brought down significantly the average age of the squad. 

The hostility towards the window, most likely arises as Burnley were the only side who spent less than Palace in the Premier League. It does beg the question about the commitment to Hodgson's tenure and whether certain members of Palace's establishment are truly invested in the long-term project.  

The rebuild  

Although not every piece of the puzzle has been put into place as of yet, the rebuild is certainly underway. Eze is the figurehead, looking to guide the club into the phase. The signing of Nathan Ferguson, a player who had been courted by A.C. Milan, is also one that should be lauded by the fans.  

Michy Batshuayi is an established Premier League forward and the additions of Clyne and Butland add a competitive edge to Hodgson's squad.  

Palace have started the season well and a victory over bitter rivals, Brighton & Hove Albion, will set up the Eagles for the barrage of Premier League football heading their way.  

It is important to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day... 

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