Report: Crystal Palace set to sell international winger Bakary Sako

Crystal Palace's Bakary Sako and Watford's Ben Watson in action

Crystal Palace winger Bakary Sako is rumoured to be in talks with former club Wolves after being pushed down the pecking order by Andros Townsend.

 

Crystal Palace's Bakary Sako and Watford's Ben Watson in action

Bakary Sako could be forced to leave Crystal Palace to accommodate new signing Andros Townsend, according to the Croydon Advertiser.

The 28-year-old joined Palace on a three-year deal last summer upon the expiry of his contract with Championship side Wolves, scoring and assisting on his debut in a famous 2-1 win away at then champions Chelsea.

However, injuries restricted Sako to just 20 appearences in his first season in the top flight and the subsequent arrival of England international Townsend from relegated Newcastle could further diminish the Mali international’s chances of regaining his starting berth next season.

According to the Croydon Advertiser, former club Wolves (below) are in talks to bring Sako back to Molyneux to spearhead the club’s promotion push under their ambitious Chinese owners.

Bakary Sako of Wolverhampton Wanderers in action with Scott Wootton (R), Luke Murphy (C) and Kalvin Phillips of Leeds United

Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew was effusive in his praise of the dynamic forward after he scored the winner in a 2-1 win at Aston Villa in August.

"He will be a real asset for us," Pardew said, as reported by the Evening Standard. "He's announced himself today in no uncertain manner.”

However, the return to fitness and form of Yannick Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha (below), plus the arrival of Townsend this summer, has pushed Sako down the pecking order as Palace look to build on last season’s disappointing 15th place finish.

Wilfried Zaha playing for Crystal Palace

And, while many Palace fans will be disappointed to see the dynamic winger depart after just one injury-interrupted season, the stats hardly work in Sako’s favour.

In 20 appearences, the Mali international scored twice and assisted just once on the Premier League last season. Bolasie, in comparison, scored five and assisted three, with Townsend (below) tallying four and two in a virtuoso half-season at doomed Newcastle.

Crystal Palace's Andros Townsend

Sako’s key passes per game (0.5), crosses per game (0.7) and dribbles competed tally (1), also ranked well below the figures posted by his fellow widemen at Selhurst Park.

Therefore, with Palace needed to avoid the sort of profligacy which left them the third lowest scorers in the league last season, the erratic Sako appears to have no future at a club desperately in need of consistency in attack.

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