Roy Hodgson says Crystal Palace summer transfer drive can fire club into top half

Jack Rosser
·3-min read
REUTERS
REUTERS

Roy Hodgson says the arrival of fresh faces at Crystal Palace this summer will allow the Eagles to aim higher next season.

The Palace boss has always been adamant that their aim at the start of each season should be to remain a Premier League club and, while that will be the starting point for any club in Palace's position, the former England manager knows a strong transfer window could see them set their sights far higher. Hodgson cited a top 10 finish as a target, something Palace have managed just once since their return to the top flight in 2013.

Palace are keen to add a number of younger faces to their side this summer and drag down the average age of the oldest squad in the Premier League, bringing in some depth in key areas in doing so.

"No team, at least a team like ourselves who have been in the league for a period of time now, should necessarily have the ambition to purely stay in the League," Hodgson told Standard Sport.

"I think we should have an ambition which is higher than that and I think it is very important with this transfer window coming up, with a squad of players that hasn't changed very much over the three years, it would be a good moment to get some sort of refreshment in the squad, some new faces and competition. Everyone at the club is 100 per cent behind that idea.

"If that was to come to fruition, and we find ourselves with a few new faces and a lot of enthusiasm about the new players coming in, how they are going to add and help our squad to be better, then I think it would be very surprising if the club's ambition was not to say: 'Right, we've finished in the middle of the table for the last three seasons, let's hope now we can have a smoother passage and get ourselves that bit higher up the league.'

"When we are playing our best football I think we are more than capable with competing with all the teams in the league, let alone the ones in the middle of the table around us. All we need at the moment now is a little bit of refreshment, rejuvenation."

The Eagles, whose hopes of a Europa League finish this season have been dashed with five consecutive defeats since their win at Bournemouth, host Manchester United - unbeaten in 18 - on Thursday night.

Hodgson will be without Christian Benteke after the Belgian was sent off after the final whistle against his former club Aston Villa, but will welcome midfielder Jeffrey Schlupp back to the squad for the first time since the winger sustained a hip injury in December.

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