Opinion: Crystal Palace contract situation could lead to squad rebuild, Roy Hodgson could go

Max Mathews November 2, 2020
Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

Crystal Palace could completely overhaul their squad at the end of the 2020/21 season, with about a dozen players and manager Roy Hodgson out of contract.

Although Palace often don’t reveal exact contract details, it is understood 13 players have deals which expire after this campaign.

The Eagles made moves in the transfer window to refresh and rejuvenate an aging squad, signing QPR forward Eberechi Eze, 22, and West Bromwich Albion full-back Nathan Ferguson, 20.

And next summer could be a prime opportunity to move some players on, reduce the wage bill and improve the age profile of the squad.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Who could leave Crystal Palace?

Former Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho (30) and striker Christian Benteke (29) were signed for an initial £27m and £24m respectively, but Sakho has struggled with injury and Benteke has only scored six times since September 2017.

Although popular goalkeeper Vicente Guaita (33) is believed to have a one-year option to extend and third-choice Stephen Henderson (32) could stay, Wayne Hennessey (33) may leave given Jack Butland is also backup.

Defenders Gary Cahill (34) and Scott Dann (33) aren’t long-term options but have performed well recently – although the Mirror reports widespread interest in Dann – and while Patrick van Aanholt (30) is still first choice, Joel Ward is fighting for his right-back spot and could leave.

In midfield, scarcely-used German Max Meyer (25) will probably go – he hasn’t played a single minute of league football this season – while Andros Townsend (29) has nailed down a spot and could get fresh terms.

Up front, Benteke and injury-hit Connor Wickham (27) are set to depart, while Chelsea loanee Michy Batshuayi will return to Stamford Bridge.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Manager Roy Hodgson may also depart

Oldest manager in the Premier League Roy Hodgson, 73, also has his contract expire next summer.

With several players set to move on from SE25, there may also be a corresponding change in the dug-out to oversee the squad restoration job and any new transfers in.

However, Hodgson and assistant manager, Ray Lewington, 64, are both hugely enthusiastic, passionate and hands-on coaches who have showed no sign of slowing down yet.