Crystal Palace could sign perfect Mateta upgrade in £35m “complete forward”

It has been over a decade since Crystal Palace so dramatically won promotion to the Premier League thanks to an extra-time penalty from Kevin Phillips, and while there have been some scares since, the Eagles have established themselves as a top-flight side.

However, following their FA Cup exit earlier this week, Roy Hodgson’s men once again have little to play for over the next 18 games, as the sides below them are markedly worse, and those above are pulling away.

The biggest problem the South Londoners have is scoring goals, as their 22 goals rank as the third-worst haul in the league, ahead of only Burnley and Sheffield United.


However, with the transfer window in full swing, the club look ready to do something about this deficiency, as the latest name touted for a move to Selhurst Park could be the perfect upgrade on Jean-Philippe Mateta.

Hodgson looks west to solve Palace’s goalscoring woes

According to TEAMtalk, Palace are one of several Premier League sides interested in Chelsea’s Albanian striker, Armando Broja.

Alongside the Eagles, the report names Fulham, West Ham United, Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers, meaning that Hodgson and Co have an almighty battle on their hands if they want to land the dynamic attacker.

As if the interest from four other Premier League sides wasn’t enough trouble, TEAMtalk also revealed that a number of sides from Spain, Italy, and Germany have their eyes on the Chelsea man.


Should Palace manage to get themselves to the front of the comically large queue, they’ll have to make an offer above £35m to seal the deal, and while that is not an insignificant amount of money, it might just be worth it if Broja could reach his full potential in red and blue.

How Armando Broja compares to Jean-Philippe Mateta

Now, Mateta has not been terrible for Palace in the time he has been at the club, but he has undoubtedly been underwhelming.

In his 88 appearances for the team, he has scored just 15 goals and provided five assists, whereas while he was playing for FSV Mainz, he managed 27 goals and five assists in just 71 outings, so it would be hard not to be disappointed with the Frenchman’s output.

Moreover, he is turning 27 this year, which, per The Athletic, should be the statistical peak for strikers, and it doesn’t look like he’ll be getting much better.

On the other hand, the “athletic and powerful” Broja, as described by talent scout Jacek Kulig, won’t turn 23 until September, so he has much more room to grow and improve at Selhurst Park should he join. Moreover, while his goalscoring record in blue leaves a lot to be desired, his loan stint at Southampton – ten goal involvements in all competitions – showed he has what it takes to be a Premier League forward.

Additionally, when it comes to the pair’s underlying numbers from this season, there isn’t much competition, as in almost every meaningful metric, the more youthful “complete forward”, as described by Kulig, comes out on top.

Armando Broja vs Jean-Philippe Mateta

Stats per 90



Non-Penalty Expected Goals + Assists



Non-Penalty Goals



Progressive Carries



Progressive Passes






Goals per Shot on Target



Successful Take-Ons



All Stats via FBref for the 2023/24 Domestic Season

He has produced a higher non-penalty expected goal and assists figure, scored more non-penalty goals, completed almost twice as many progressive carries, taken significantly more shots and required fewer than half as many shots on target to actually score.

In Mateta’s defence, he does produce marginally more progressive passes per 90, but that is really about it.


Crystal Palace keen on £20m “super talent” who could replace Ayew

The 23-year-old could help rejuvenate the Eagle’s attack.

Ultimately, if Palace want to push on and fight their way up the table, then signing Broja wouldn’t be the worst place to start, as while it would still represent something of a gamble, their current crop of forwards aren’t exactly ripping it up, and they don’t look like they ever will.

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