Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has revealed that they came close to signing Michy Batshuayi from Marseille in the summer of 2016.
Batshuayi ought to be excited about the opportunity he has been granted in the second half of this season. His time at Valencia was rather forgettable, but at Palace he has a chance to prove that he can cut it in the Premier League. He ought to grab it with both hands and make Maurizio Sarri feel silly for allowing him to go out on loan.
The Belgian could easily have been in this exact situation two-and-a-half-years earlier if things had gone differently. Writing in Palace’s programme notes ahead of their clash with West Ham on Saturday afternoon, club chairman Steve Parish revealed that he almost beat Chelsea to Batshuayi before he left Marseille in the summer window back in 2016.
He’s quoted by the Daily Star saying:
“Last week’s programme was put to bed on Thursday afternoon with six hours left of deadline day, which turned out to be frenetic as we agreed terms with Chelsea for the loan of Michy Batshuayi,” he said in his programme notes for today’s clash with West Ham.”
“I had a deal agreed to buy him before he joined Chelsea, and we have since kept a detailed eye on his progress, all with a view of bringing him here at some point.”
Palace as a club clearly have a great deal of faith in Batshuayi – that’s going to do him wonders. We hope that he’s able to do himself justice with the London side and give himself a fighting chance of saving his Chelsea career.