By Su Collins

It is no secret that Crystal Palace are in serious danger of being relegated this season. The London club are currently 17th in the Premier League and with just 16 games left, this January transfer window is a more important opportunity than ever to improve the squad.

There have been rumours of playmaker Wilfried Zaha and winger Andros Townsend’s departures, meaning it would be logical to bring in more creativity in the midfield.

However, goal-scoring has not been a problem for the struggling side this season. They have managed to rack up 30 goals in 22 games, which is the joint ninth highest in the Premier League.

Defensively, however, it has been a completely different story. The Eagles have conceded 41 goals and this is raising grave concerns over their ability to win games.

Manager Sam Allardyce has already brought in Jeffrey Schlupp from Leicester and Sunderland’s Patrick van Aanholt to strengthen the backline but this will likely not be enough to pull Palace out of the rut.

What the team really needs is a strong, fit and experienced centre-back – the player that Palace should be looking to is Mamadou Sakho.

The 26-year old has fallen out of favour with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp during pre-season and has expressed an intention to move away from Anfield.

Having had absolutely sensational performances prior to the UEFA doping investigation, the France international is still an exceptional defender.

Palace have only managed one clean sheet all season with rotating partnerships at the back between Scott Dann, James Tomkins and Damien Delaney.

The 35-year-old Irishman has been particularly erratic and often gives away free-kicks in threatening positions or pick up unnecessary yellow cards. The Eagles desperately need a form of consistency and better discipline to shut down their oppositions’ attacks.

As a defender, Sakho is extremely energetic and will add a new dimension to the way Palace have been playing.

It would be exciting to see him pair up with the likes of Scott Dann to tighten up their defences as well as bringing the ball forward more efficiently.

With the calibre of players currently at Crystal Palace, the club should not only be trying to avoid relegation but also to strive to become a real threat in the competition and a talent like Sakho would no doubt set the benchmark.


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