Crystal Palace could supercharge Eze by signing £6m “technical striker”

Crystal Palace are desperately in search of a long-term number nine this January.

The Eagles have struggled in the final third this season, with only the bottom two teams scoring fewer goals.

Eddie Nketiah is one name floating around concerning a move to Selhurst Park, but Roy Hodgson’s message is clear: he wants a goal-scorer.

Crystal Palace’s number nine target

According to a report earlier in the week from talkSPORT, Palace are interested in signing Che Adams this month, with the striker on their radar.

Che Adams for Southampton

Southampton will accept a fee of around £6m for his services this winter, although the Eagles will face competition from Everton and Wolves for the player’s signature.

The Scotland forward will be out of contract at the club in the summer, so the Saints will look to recoup some funds on their number ten or risk losing for absolutely nothing in a few months.


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The stats that show Adams would improve Eze

Eberechi Eze is by far the most important contributor to the function of Palace’s system, and he’s proving that once again this term.

The 25-year-old has scored three times and assisted once in 12 Premier League starts this campaign, and he’s averaging 2.1 key passes per game – behind only teammate Michael Olise (2.2).

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson with Eberechi Eze after the match

Last season, Eze scored ten goals, and the introduction of a true number nine, like Adams, could allow him to reach those levels once again.

Under Russell Martin this season, Adams has fallen second fiddle to Adam Armstrong, who has netted 14 goals for the Saints in the Championship, but the Scotland international is having a quietly impressive season himself, scoring eight goals and providing two assists in just 12 starts.

The table below shows a handful of Adams’ statistics from this season and how he compares to his positional peers in the Championship.

Che Adams: 2023/24 Championship

Stats (per 90)


Ranking in 2nd tier



Top 9%



Top 18%

Shots total


Top 18%

Passes received


Top 18%

Passes completed


Top 13%

Passes into final third


Top 6%

Stats via FBref

Palace are in desperate need of a striker who can reliably score goals, as Odsonne Edouard and Jean-Phillipe Mateta have only scored eight between them in the Premier League this season. As you can see by his goals-per-game ratio and goals per shot, Adams would serve as a solution to that problem and provide that as a minimum.

With Eze’s creativity, the signing of Adams would give him a target to hit in the box or look for in deeper areas, in turn improving the Eagles’ attacking patterns and the number ten’s output.

Football analyst Statman Dave has labelled Adams a “technical striker,” and based on his passing statistics, it is difficult to disagree. Eze was Palace’s biggest goal threat last campaign, and the ability to link up with Adams in and around the box with quick combinations would allow him to be much more direct, therefore increasing his number of chances to score.


In short, Adams is a bargain for £6m, and Palace would be extremely lucky to find someone of his quality for that little anywhere else. Not only would the Saints attacker fix their lack of goals, but he would also make those around him better, which makes this transfer a no-brainer.

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