Since Crystal Palace were promoted to the Premier League in May 2013, many players have come and gone at SE25, with some leaving as greats and some as failures. Throughout their history, Palace fans have been treated to some scintillating football watching the likes of Wilfred Zaha, Yohan Cabaye and Ian Wright work their magic. Other players have not provided the same excitement.
The Worst Crystal Palace Signings Since 2013
After making well over 150 appearances for Reading in a five-year period, Kebe was signed by Ian Holloway in August in 2013 for an undisclosed fee, rumoured to be around £1 million. Signed to cover for the injured Yannick Bolasie, he became one of 14 players signed that summer. Manager Holloway feared the consequences of seeing his side relegated after just one season, and with just two days left of the 2013 summer window, he managed to bring in five players all from the division below, all with little Premier League experience.
During his time at Reading, Kebe was known for having electric pace down the right hand side. Yet when he signed for Palace, it seemed he had completely forgotten how to run and made just six appearances before being loaned out to Leeds United the following January. When the winger returned to South London, he found himself far down the pecking order under Tony Pulis and his contracted was later terminated in January 2015, following in the footsteps of most signings made by Holloway that summer as a failed move.
Having played for the likes of Real Madrid, Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, it came as quite a shock that Adebayor decided to include Crystal Palace in that decorated list of clubs. After being released by Spurs in September 2015, the two became an unlikely match with the striker signing on the 26th of January 2016, despite the North London club being forced to continue to pay £25,000 of his weekly wages.
Sending the Eagles’ wage bill sky high, the controversial ex-Arsenal man lived up to his name as being a lazy centre-forward, scoring just one goal in 15 appearances and producing little for the club. He was released that summer.
Packed with international and Champions League experience at the age of just 29 and coming with a good goal scoring record, Remy seemed to be everything that Palace had been looking for in the transfer window. Alan Pardew was delighted he had been able to bring the Chelsea man on loan.
Having already smashed their transfer record with the signing of Benteke, bringing in Remy on loan meant Palace had quite a strong strike force up front, something they had been missing for a long time. Before fans could start dreaming of a Remy-Benteke partnership, the French striker was ruled out for an original two months because of injury. Two months soon turned into five and the Eagles had to wait until January for to make his first appearance, by which time Pardew had been sacked.
By the time Remy was fit, he was severely lacking in match fitness and made just four appearances before being sidelined for a further two months. It wasn’t until the 29th of April that he made his comeback in a 2-0 defeat at home to Burnley, making little impact in the game. At the end of the season, Remy was returned to Chelsea, with Palace chairman Steve Parish making it clear that a permanent move for the Frenchmen was very unlikely.
Having signed for £6 million in 2015, the former Cardiff City and QPR man is by far one of the worst players to pull on a Palace shirt since their return to the top flight. In every one of his 31 appearances for the club, the midfielder hardly put a foot right, looking lethargic and overweight. It is a wonder what former manager Alan Pardew really saw in him.
The only time he delivered was in pre-season as he scored in the club’s tour of South Africa. In the competitive season, he failed to impress and fell out of favour with Sam Allardyce. He was loaned out to Reading where, again, he failed to impress and returned to the club. Having recently been left out of Frank De Boer’s squad for the Asia Trophy, it seems Mutch’s time at the club is over.
In the summer of 2015, Bamford signed for Palace on loan from Chelsea after a rather successful loan period at Championship side Middlesbrough which saw him score 17 goals in 39 appearances. When he signed, he arrived with high expectation to carry on his good form in the Premier League. Unfortunately, he was far from impressive and his lack of effort means that it is no surprise that his game time was limited to just six appearances by the new year.
It was clear that Bamford was becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of game time, yet once on the pitch, he never looked interested and made very little impact or effort. The final straw for the striker came against Swansea City on the 28th December. In the goalless draw with few chances, the ball fell perfectly to him inside the box. Instead of coolly taking his chance, he fluffed his lines and the ‘keeper made an easy save.
Bamford later took to Twitter to announce he would be terminating his contract in a very unprofessional matter, citing a lack of game opportunities and minutes to prove himself as the reason for leaving. He should not have expected to play regularly in the Premier League without taking his chances.