Palace blog: Pedroza is a must keep
There was much intrigue surrounding the arrival of one Antonio Pedroza to Crystal Palace, the young English-born Mexican having just fallen short of signing up with Tottenham Hotspur having arrived in the UK from parent club Jaguares.
Indeed, we thought we may have bagged our very own Chicharito, though his performances at the end of the season have revealed we have a wholly different player on our hands – but also left us scratching our heads as to why the striker has failed to break into the first team on a regular basis.
Dougie Freedman admitted he and the club made mistakes in helping Antonio fit in, and that was a big part of his slow start.
There are also rumours the 21-year-old may be off to pastures new now the season has come to a close and his ambition struggles to come to terms with a lack of game time.
After his recent performances this would be a travesty of the highest calibre. It’s been a while since we’ve had a striker of his ilk.
He’s a different sort of player to the others we have to offer, and losing him would be losing an important tactical ace-in-the-hole that we’ve yet to exploit to our full benefit.
To watch his movement off the ball has been a revelation. After a season of one static, isolated striker leading the line, to see a player with hunger, one who moves into channels between the centre-back and full-back was a blessing.
Pedroza gives us more options when he’s on the field. He gives the opposition defence a new brand of striker to worry about, one that’s not often found at Championship level. His link up play, the promise of deft little chips one day finding their way into the back of the net and his ability to bring other players into the game are certainly characteristics that will endear him to the Palace faithful should we manage to persuade him to stay.
Simply put, we have on our hands a versatile, thoughtful and exciting player who we should try our best to keep over the summer and who we should be seeing line up for kick-off at the opening game at the end of the summer.
Stephen Bridle is a member of Palace fanzine Five Year Plan. Follow them on Twitter @fypfanzine or go to fiveyearplanfanzine.co.uk.
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