Mainz striker, Jean-Philippe Mateta, has arrived in south London for his medical today with Crystal Palace after flying to Biggin Hill Airport late on Tuesday night.
Jean-Philippe Mateta est arrivé hier soir à l’Aéroport Biggin Hill au sud-est de Londres. Visite médicale aujourd’hui. Tout compris, Le prêt de 18 mois et l’option d’achat presque obligatoire devrait atteindre 18 millions d’euros #Mercato #RMCLive https://t.co/puvB09zBaH pic.twitter.com/jC7Li24sWY— Loïc Tanzi (@Tanziloic) January 20, 2021
The forward could be Roy Hodgson's first signing in the January window and it certainly spells trouble for Michy Batshuayi - who has yet to open his account for Palace this season.
According to Sky Sports, "the move will be an 18-month loan deal for a fee of €3m (£2.7m) with an obligation to buy for €15m (£13.4m) if and when Mateta has started 15 Premier League games."
The striker has scored 10 goals in 17 games (three in the DFB Pokal) this season. Crystal Palace VAVEL take a look at how Mateta's imminent arrival could bolster Hodgson's attacking options, whilst also taking a glance at what the future holds for Michy Batshuayi.
Who is Jean-Philippe Mateta
Mateta was born on June 28, 1997 (23 years old) in Sevran, France and he has represented France internationally at U-19 and U-21 youth levels.
The Bundesliga striker stands at a towering 6 ft 4 inches. His career started in 2006, playing youth level football until 2014 for the likes of Olympique de Sevran, Sevran FC, Drancy.
His senior career kicked off in 2015 for Chateauroux B, before being promoted to the first-team in the same season. He would then move to Lyon B in 2016, where he was promptly promoted to the first-team until 2018.
Mateta was loaned out to Le Havre for the 2017/18 season - where his astute eye for goal - saw Mainz sign him in 2018 and he has remained there ever since.
Current Form & what he can add to Palace
Mateta has scored 7 league goals in 15 appearances for Mainz, which is better reading than Palace's strikers put together this season - Wilfried Zaha (8), Christian Benteke (3) Jordan Ayew (1).
The striker has also been linked with Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United, however, Palace seem to be frontrunners to sign the Frenchman. The forward is big, powerful and a natural goal scoring threat - he could be healthy competition alongside Benteke.
The best thing about Mateta, is that he's young and hungry to play in England's elite division and he will be fighting for the chance to play alongside Eberechi Eze and Zaha.
A potential front three of Zaha, Mateta and Eze will have Palace fans salivating. Mateta's pace, trickery and excellent finishing ability will further strengthen Palace's attack.
A glimpse of what he can do can be seen below.
Could Batshuayi's days at Palace become numbered?
With the rumour of the training ground 'bust-up' with Luka Milivojevic, and the fact he has not scored yet, means that Batshuayi's second spell at Selhurst Park has not exactly gone to plan.
Mateta's statistics do the talking for him and, if he signs for Palace, then you have to think that Batshuayi will be the one to remain sidelined with Ayew and Benteke offering more to the team in terms of goals.
The recent form of Benteke is another factor for Batshuayi's exclusion from the starting lineup. Benteke's imperious presence upfront will compliment Mateta's style of play also.
Mateta is just what Palace need at the moment. His prolific goal scoring ability will fill the void left by the Eagles inconsistent forwards.
His ability to hold up the ball can bring Eze and Zaha into the attack and help create more chances in the final third. Whilst at just 23, Mateta's arrival signals a new era at Selhurst Park, as the Eagles hierarchy look to slash the average age of the squad.
The situation with Batshuayi does not look good and the Belgian needs to start hitting the net soon otherwise, he faces the sad reality of being stuck on the bench wondering where his past form has gone.