Crystal Palace have re-signed 30-year-old attacker Bakary Sako from the ranks of West Bromwich Albion on a short-term deal, which will last till the end of the current season.
Although the signing isn’t a groundbreaking one, Palace did need attacking reinforcements this month, and Sako could eventually turn out to be a productive acquisition.
Sako left the Selhurst Park last summer after three injury-affected seasons, and the Eagles were keen to sign him on reduced terms.
However, they had already filed their 25-man Premier League squad by the time the summer transfer window ended and were unable to make him sign on the dotted line.
Sako was eventually lured to the Hawthorns on a one-year contract worth around £30,000-a-week in October after he became a free agent, but he struggled to break into Darren Moore’s team.
The Mali international was handed merely two starts and played as a substitute on three occasions in the Championship. Moore explained the decision behind letting the player sign for his former club:
“Bakary has not played as much football for us as he would have wanted,” said Moore.
“He was eager to take this opportunity in the Premier League. We decided it was in everyone’s best interests for him to move on.”
An astute signing by Hodgson
Having collected 22 points from 23 games so far, Palace are placed fourteenth in the league standings. Just three points separate them from the relegation zone and therefore, the coming months will be crucial for them.
The business end of the season will bring the added pressure to survive in the top flight, and the fixtures will come thick and fast. Palace’s threadbare attacking options can be stretched to the limit with lack of options and fatigue and a relatively fresh Sako can prove to be a vital asset.
Although the Eagles have been decent at the back, their offensive weaknesses have been evident this season. The London based outfit have managed merely 23 goals in the league so far this campaign.
Apart from Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend, most of the attackers in the artillery of Roy Hodgson have flattered to deceive. The lack of goals from the attackers has only piled more pressure on the shoulder of the midfielders. Therefore, the incoming of Sako makes a lot of sense.
Sako scored eight goals in 50 appearances for Palace during his first stint at the club. Though he needs to better his conversion rate this time around, his experience will also be a handy asset for the team.