The Premier League season is almost over and this means that some players’ contracts will be expiring shortly after it ends. There are currently seven Crystal Palace players out of contract at the end of the 2021/22 season.
The Eagles are in a similar situation to last year when Roy Hodgson left with lots of players out of contract. Last summer saw the likes of Andros Townsend, Wayne Hennessey, Gary Cahill, Scott Dann, and Patrick van Aanholt all leaving. It was known that a Palace rebuild was going to be needed at the end of last season and the finances were there to recruit new players.
This year feels a bit different though, Vieira has settled into the job nicely and still doesn’t know his best starting eleven. Whether or not these players will extend in the summer is a question for the Palace owners, the sporting director, the manager, and the players themselves.
So, we’re going to look at each player that will be out of contract and give you our thoughts on whether the club should aim to keep them or let them leave on a free.
James McArthur has had one of his best seasons in a Crystal Palace shirt since arriving in 2014. Vieira made him the club captain when he has played as Milivojevic has dropped down the pecking order in central midfield.
He’s 34 at the moment, 35 in October and this will be a big talking point when it comes to keeping him at the club. Even though he’s one of the oldest in the squad he still puts in a shift every match. He’s also one of the most vocal on the pitch and he speaks well in all his interviews.
We think that it would be a shame to let him go as he brings a lot of experience and is someone the younger players can look up to. We’d give him a two-year contract and rotate him when needed with one of the other central midfielders.
Jordan AyewEmbed from Getty Images
Jordan Ayew is another hard worker whose contract is set to expire at the end of the season. The Ghanaian forward hasn’t had his best season since arriving from Swansea in 2019 and has been challenged for his position on the right by the new arrival, Michael Olise.
Ayew struggled to get back in the side after coming back from the Africa Cup of Nations as Olise had shown his class in the short space of time he was away. Ayew does bring something different to the team though, he tracks back and can be tricky when running at players.
With him being 31 in September, we think this decision could go either way, both for the club and the player. Olise looks set to be Vieira’s number one for the right attacking position next season and Ayew might want more game time. Though the club could offer him a new deal and he’ll have to fight a starting position whilst being happy that he will probably get less game time than previous seasons.
If he is let go, then we feel like Palace will need to get a replacement, although some others players can play on that right flank.
Kouyate is another central midfielder in his thirties similar to McArthur. He’s had a good season with Palace and even won the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal. The former West Ham man is now 32 but he still has high fitness levels.
He’s a versatile player as was shown when he dropped into the right centre-back role of a defensive three against Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final.
For sure, the club won’t allow him and McArthur to leave so we expect at least one of them will stay, if not both. With Senegal making it to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, he will be a key player for them and will want as much game time as he can get in the run-up to that.
James Tomkins is now 33 and with the new defensive partnership of Guehi and Andersen hasn’t had a look in. He’s only featured in nine games in all competitions this season and this was mostly when Andersen was out injured.
It was the same story under Hodgson too, he made the same number of appearances in the 2020/21 season. Although he’s got over 100 appearances for The Eagles we think that he’ll move on from the club this summer.
If he does leave, we think it will mean that Palace will need to sign a central defender as Nathan Ferguson is injury-prone and the squad is limited in this area. Although as we mentioned above, if Kouyate stays, he can drop in as a centre back if needed.
Nathaniel Clyne returned to his boyhood club from Liverpool in 2020 and has impressed this season when Joel Ward was injured. The more game time he’s had, the better he’s looked both defensively and attacking down the right wing.
We’d definitely keep him at the club and even think he should be starting instead of Palace veteran, Joel Ward. When looking at the squad’s salaries though, he is one of the most expensive players only behind Zaha and Benteke.
Maybe the Palace owners will offer him a renewal but at a smaller salary due to him now being two years older since he joined the club. Even if he turned this hypothetical offer down, we’d still be willing to keep him at the club on his current salary as he’s a hard worker and looks like he could be a better player next season.
Jeffrey SchluppEmbed from Getty Images
Jeffrey Schlupp is also out of contract after arriving from Leicester in January 2017. He played a pivotal role for The Foxes in their amazing Premier League title win in the 2015/16 season and is still a key player for Palace.
His strength and speed are two of his best attributes, especially when Palace play on the counter. He’s the only Crystal Palace player out of contract that is under 30 and we’d be surprised if The Eagles didn’t try to keep him in south London.
Martin Kelly is the final Palace player on this list that can leave at the end of the season on a free and we expect that will be the case. Kelly has only made one appearance in the entire season as Palace’s defence has been pretty water-tight and without too many injuries.
He’s been with the club since 2014 and has over 100 appearances in red and blue so it will sad to see him leave. However, we think that it would be the right decision for both parties. Especially as he’s still only 32 so probably has a few more years left playing football.
Extra – Conor Gallagher
We know that Conor Gallagher isn’t a Crystal Palace player, but he’s been key for The Eagles this season. His loan deal from Chelsea ends at the end of May and we’d love to see him join Palace on a permanent deal, however, that’s not looking likely.
Palace Chairman, Steve Parish, has come out and said that he wants to keep Conor, but would Chelsea want to part with this young, talented prospect?
He’s proved what he can do this season and Tuchel has said that he likes him too so surely they’ll find a way to fit him in the first team squad.
Although, with the World Cup happening in November of this year, Gallagher will want as much game time as possible to try to cement his place on the plane to Qatar.
Maybe all parties will look at another loan deal for the season or 6 months. We’ve written more about our thoughts on Gallagher’s future in this article.
Ayew Heading to World Cup With Ghana
Jordan Ayew has been included in Ghana’s World Cup 2022 squad along with his brother Andre. Ayew is a trustworthy player who doesn’t mind putting a shift in for his club and country. Having helped Ghana to qualify for the World Cup, it was expected that Ayew would be included in the 26-man squad travelling to Qatar.
Ghana had a disappointing time at the Africa Cup of Nations this year finishing bottom of their group. They’ll be hoping to change this at the World Cup as the fans will still remember the heartache at the 2010 World Cup when they lost to Uruguay in the semi-final.
Coincidentally, Uruguay are in the same group as Ghana along with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal and Heung Min Son’s South Korea. They have the largest odds to get out of the group so there’s not much hope for the West African country. But, you never know what’s going to happen in tournament football.
Unfortunately, fellow Palace teammate and Ghana international, Jeffrey Schlupp, didn’t make the squad even though he’s a versatile player.
If Ghana drop out of the competition early, we could see Ayew back in training with the Palace squad as they have a friendly home match against Botafogo in December. That said, Vieira will likely give the two players heading to the World Cup, Ayew and Andersen (Denmark), extra time off to recover from the intense run of matches they’re likely to have.
Schlupp Misses Out On Ghana World Cup Squad
Jeffrey Schlupp has been a key player for Ghana over the past few years, but he has been left out of the squad for the upcoming World Cup. This is a surprise to many, as Schlupp is a versatile player who can provide play in both attacking and defensive midfield roles.
It is thought that Ghana manager Otto Addo has opted for other options in those positions, which has seen Schlupp miss out on selection. He was originally included in the 55-man preliminary squad and most Ghanaians and football fans thought he’d be called up, but for some reason hasn’t been.
He’s played regularly this season for Crystal Palace so it’s not a case that he’s lacking match fitness or has picked up an injury in recent weeks. Schlupp who won the Premier League with Leicester back in 2016 would’ve been a great player to have in the squad, even if he wasn’t in the starting eleven.
His fellow teammate at Palace, Jordan Ayew, did make the Ghana squad so he’ll be representing The Eagles from Qatar even if Schlupp won’t be.
Schlupp will now have some time off in the break before the first match back for Palace which is on Boxing Day. He’ll also keep training with the team and they have two friendlies scheduled, one against Napoli in Turkey and another at Selhurst Park against Botafogo. This was easy to schedule due to John Textor owning shares in both Palace and the Brazilian side.
There’s also a chance for a third friendly against Spanish side Real Valladolid, but it still needs to be finalised. Vieira described these matches and training camp as “a mini pre-season before getting ready for the Fulham game” which is to be played on the 26th of December.
Guehi & Mitchell Miss Out On England World Cup 2022 Squad
With only one Premier League match left before the break for the Winter World Cup, Gareth Southgate has announced his 26-man squad for the tournament. Crystal Palace duo Marc Guehi and Tyrick Mitchell who have both earned caps for England in the past have missed out.
Mitchell was mentioned more so than Guehi this time around as a backup for Luke Shaw as Ben Chilwell is out injured. Mitchell hasn’t had the best start to the season for Palace and Southgate likes the experience that Kieran Trippier offers even as a left-back.
Fikayo Tomori is another centre-back that missed out alongside Marc Guehi and he won the Serie A with AC Milan last season. James Tarkowski is another defender that didn’t make it whereas Conor Coady has made it into the squad. Harry Maguire has made the squad even though he’s not had as many minutes as he would have liked since Erik Ten Hag came in.
Chelsea midfielder and former Crystal Palace player, Conor Gallagher, has made the squad which has meant that James Ward-Prowse misses out. Gallagher is playing more under Potter than he did under Tuchel at the start of the season and his form at Palace last season was probably what made Southgate pick him.
With one Premier League match left before the break, there’s still a chance that any of these 26 pick-up injuries forcing Southgate to make changes before the team flies out for the tournament.
- Aaron Ramsdale
- Jordan Pickford
- Nick Pope
- Conor Coady
- Harry Maguire
- John Stones
- Kieran Trippier
- Luke Shaw
- Ben White
- Kyle Walker
- Trent Alexander-Arnold
- Eric Dier
- Conor Gallagher
- Mason Mount
- Declan Rice
- Jude Bellingham
- Kalvin Phillips
- Jordan Henderson
- Harry Kane
- Raheem Sterling
- Callum Wilson
- Bukayo Saka
- Jack Grealish
- Marcus Rashford
- Phil Foden
- James Maddison
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