BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Crystal Palace would be interested in a January loan deal for Ruben Loftus-Cheek – but can’t keep their search for January targets too narrow.
That is the verdict of Eagles chairman Steve Parish, who also admitted this week that their policy of signing established Premier League stars was “unsustainable”.
Lewisham-raised Loftus-Cheek impressed on loan for Palace last season and it led to him making England’s World Cup squad.
He ended up staying at Chelsea this summer but has not made a Premier League appearance since September 1.
Parish, a guest on a podcast by Five Year Plan, said: “I don’t know if it helps us to constantly talk about it. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is a contracted player at Chelsea. Chelsea will decide if they want to loan him out. Chelsea will talk with his representative to decide where he goes.
“If they want to loan him out then I’m sure he will be a player that we and a lot of other clubs will be interested in. Because he has been at our club will it play in our favour? It might, or it might not.
“It is one player. We need to look at what we might need in January, that will play out as well. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, along with others, will be in our thoughts if they become available.”
Palace have had a period of smaller spending in recent windows. The January additions of Jakip Rach and Alexander Sorloth have made minimal impact – the former being loaned out. Max Meyer and Vincente Guaita did not cost fees this summer, Jordan Ayew was loaned from Swansea with a £10million outlay for Cheikhou Kouyate – modest in comparison to previous raids for the likes of Yohan Cabaye, Mamadou Sakho and Christian Benteke.
Asked about making more signings from overseas in the last couple of windows, Parish replied: “I felt I’d been a bit safe. Frankly, we were spending at an unsustainable rate – you can’t go on. You come up and spend £100m, but you are not going to spend £100m every transfer window.
“With Dougie [Freedman, sporting director] and the team we have got in place, we can be a bit bolder about where we look.
“The market for players is so inflated. Max Meyer’s transfer took me back to signing Glenn Murray. I remember getting the list and saying: ‘That’s the one – it’s got us written all over it’. Dougie worked tremendously hard with Tim [Coe] to get it done.
“I believe Max will be a big success but just say he isn’t – the risk-reward curve is right for this football. “I know we should have bought a striker but I don’t think there is a club in the land who doesn’t want a striker.
“We’ve been signing the likes of Mamadou Sakho, Christian Benteke and James Tomkins – players of that sort of calibre are not cheap. Mamadou is a great player but it is not sustainable for us to keep paying £20m for a player. We’re trying to be smarter about what we buy.
“We got our business done earlier. We’ve upped our game and got value for money. The problem is people are spending a lot of money around us. Even though we’re putting money in, people are putting crazy money in.
“But that doesn’t go on forever. You don’t get beaten by the amount of money people spend.”
The full interview with Parish can be listened to here https://fypfanzine.uk/podcast/7006-fyp-podcast-268-steve-parish-joins-the-pod-to-talk-hf-stadium-transfers-and-more