Crystal Palace midfielder Max Meyer has suggested in a feature interview with the official club website that he struggled at the start of last season because of a lack of a pre-season, which hardly bodes well for the Eagles this year.
What did he say, then?
Well, speaking to cpfc.co.uk a year after moving to Selhurst Park, the German said: “The problem was that I came just one week before the first game – so I had no pre-season with the team. I needed to learn the other players, so the first six-eight games I didn’t play in the Premier League.
“But after that I had several games when I started, in the league and in the cups too. I played a lot at the end – and it was ok.”
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While the 23-year-old made 29 top flight outings in his debut campaign in England, 14 of those were still from the substitutes’ bench.
It isn’t surprising that a new signing will suffer without a full pre-season at the club they are going to represent, given it is the perfect chance to have some time to get to really know your manager’s ideas and how to work well on the pitch with their new teammates.
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The south London outfit have had plenty of time to bring new signings to the club this summer, but as of yet goalkeeper Stephen Henderson has been the only one to arrive, and he was on a free.
They should have money in the bank given they pocketed an initial £45m when they sold Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United, but there have been no major signings even if they have been linked with plenty of players.
Given the transfer window shuts in one month and that they suffered eight defeats in their opening 12 Premier League fixtures last season, they probably could have done with getting their business done early this summer to ensure they were ready to hit the ground running in 2019/20.
While they still have an opportunity to avoid another situation like the Meyer one, there is no doubt that they are still running out of time – especially if players who don’t know the Premier League join within a couple of weeks of the season getting underway.
That is something that could be on the cards considering the links to the likes of Allan Saint-Maximin, Timothy Castagne and Mbaye Diagne – none of whom have plied their trade in England before.
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