As one of the most mercurial talents on the Crystal Palace playing staff, Andros Townsend frustrates as much as he excited. Like any winger for a mid-table club like ours, Townsend has moments of pure magic – such as his famous goal against Manchester City – mixed in with periods where his form is almost non-existent. However, as a key performer in recent years, Palace fans and staff are keen to see the England man stick around. In a recent interview with TalkSPORT, though, the winger made clear there is one problem with sticking around in South London.
Like many other sticking points for Palace at present, it comes down to one thing: the coach. Players want to play for a coach who wants them and who can fit them into a system; who is going to sign an extension or agree terms with a club that has no defined new coach in place?
While reports of an exciting move for Lucien Favre continue, players are quite rightly not signing on until they know who is coming in. The hope was that Roy Hodgson’s early departure would give Palace plenty of time to start talking to and appointing a successor; that, so far, has failed to materialise into reality. Therefore, Palace are sitting in limbo with many key players unwilling to talk about extending their stay at Selhurst Park.
And it is easy to see why – a coach is a crucial part of selling any club to the players. For Palace to make ambitious signings and to change the team for the better, players need to know who is going to be calling the shots at training.
And in his recent talk with radio station talkSPORT, Townsend was about as non-committal as Palace fans would expect.
What did Andros Townsend say?
When asked about his contract status, which is set to expire, Townsend told talkSPORT, whom he is a regular contributor: “We’re still having brief discussions. The club have told all of us that there’s no decisions being made until a manager has been appointed.”
However, he sounded less than convinced about this decision, saying: “Since then Christian Benteke has signed a new deal, so…”
He continued about his future, adding: “I want to be somewhere on July 1st. My agent is in the background now getting as much interest put into an offer, and then I’ll sit down with my agent, and around July 1st [he’ll] see which one is the best for me at this time in my career.
“I’m prepared to move abroad but ideally the right option comes up in England. Of course, I’d love to stay in England, I’m an English boy; I’ve played here my whole career so yeah I’d love to continue playing in the Premier League, but let’s wait and see what my agent comes back with – we can sit down and see which which one’s the best for me.
“I’m open to everything so if there’s an option that presents itself and it’s the best one for me to play games and fulfil my needs, then of course I wouldn’t turn it down just because it’s in another country.”
It’s an intriguing point for Palace, but it’s also essential to find a solution ASAP. Consistency issues aside, Townsend is a quality player, and losing him – especially on a free transfer – would be a bitter blow for the club and the fans.