Crystal Palace had won three-straight Premier League matches when the season was paused by the coronavirus pandemic, Roy Hodgson’s men resetting their sights on the top seven despite an uneven (at best) season by its most celebrated asset.
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So let’s grade the Eagles.
Below we give each Palace player a mark, ranking and group them together based on their season(s) so far.
If a Palace player is listed in this ranking it is because they’ve played in more than five games in all competitions.
James McArthur: Where did this come from? The 32-year-old is averaging 2.4 tackles, 1.9 interceptions, and 1.6 clearances in what has to be his finest season since his first campaign with the Eagles.
Jordan Ayew: Now has seven-goal seasons with three PL outfits and is sitting on a career-high eight with 10 feeling likely.
James Tomkins: One of the more overlooked center backs in the league has stood tall at Selhurst Park.
Luka Milivojevic: Steady as usual, the penalty specialist has been a handful in the middle of the park and an able crosser to boot.
Patrick van Aanholt: No longer a star, but still quite dangerous out wide and capable of capturing the imagination. Three goals, 1.5 interceptions per game, and passing at better than 81 percent.
Gary Cahill: A steady debut season across London for the 34-year-old,
Wilfried Zaha: The wantaway star posted strong dribble and take-on numbers to go with three goals and five assists, but was still very much a disappointment. Palace was 2W-4D-2L when he scored or assisted.
Christian Benteke: The big Belgian seems unlikely to capture a fifth double-digit goal season any time soon and it’s difficult to look past his price tag, but Benteke has been a contributor this season.
Cheikhou Kouyate: Fully prepared to engage in duels and winning more than half of them. Still yet to find anything resembling his usual performances with West Ham.
Joel Ward: Nothing too spectacular, but an okay workmanlike season in limited minutes.
Jairo Riedewald: Liking what we’ve seen from the 23-year-old seeing as he had to play out-of-position (at least somewhat) to get on the field. Decent left back work.
Andros Townsend: One goal. One. He’s always capable of the fantastic but found it very rarely this season.
Wayne Hennessey, Victor Camarasa, Connor Wickham, Cenk Tosun, Mamadou Sakho