Winger’s injury will not change Crystal Palace’s transfer deadline day plans

By Sam Smith

Roy Hodgson has claimed that an injury suffered by Bakary Sako will not change his transfer deadline day plans.

The Crystal Palace forward was forced off midway through the first half of their 1-1 draw at West Ham with what Hodgson described as a “potentially bad” injury.

He said: “We won’t know [the extent of Sako’s injury] until tomorrow. My medical staff and sports science people are very good and have a knack for being right but their initial thoughts and prognosis suggest they are not too optimistic. They don’t think it’s very good at all.

“There is a sense of positivity about coming here (West Ham) and getting a point but also disappointment with Sako’s injury.

“We have been talking about that (transfer window plans) since October 12 (Hodgson’s appointment) so nothing changes in that respect. I have been asked about our squad and the bodies certainly since early October. It (Sako’s injury) makes it that bit more imperative that we bring someone in because otherwise we are going to have a very, very small squad.”

The rejuvenated Sako has been an important part of Palace’s team in recent weeks. The Malian has scored six times in all competitions this season after being given a clean slate by Hodgson.

The Eagles led at the London Stadium through Christian Benteke’s header – the striker’s second goal of the season. However, a needless foul from James Tomkins allowed Mark Noble to equalise from the penalty spot just moments after Sako had been withdrawn.

Hodgson added: “It was a penalty. It looked like a penalty – I had no qualms over that. Unfortunately there was a little break due to Sako’s which disturbed our concentration just before Tomkins fouled Hernandez.”

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