Andros Townsend's explains decision to change shirt number; makes offer to supporters

Crystal Palace's Andros Townsend in action with Colchester United's Tom Lapslie

The England international has taken the unusual decision after Yannick Bolasie's switch to Everton.

Crystal Palace's Andros Townsend in action with Colchester United's Tom LapslieCrystal Palace's Andros Townsend in action with Colchester United's Tom Lapslie

Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend has explained his decision to switch shirt numbers from 17 to 10, despite the season already starting, in comments given to the club website.

The recent arrival from Newcastle United took the shirt vacated by Yannick Bolasie's big-money move to Everton this week, and has revealed that he will replace any shirt bought by supporters with his previous number with an up-to-date shirt if they send it in to the club or visit the Palace club store.

“The number 10 is one of the most iconic numbers in the game and with it becoming available I wanted to take the opportunity to snap it up," Townsend told the Palace website. "Hopefully I can do the number justice.

Crystal Palace's Andros Townsend in actionCrystal Palace's Andros Townsend in action

“Of course I’ve seen that a few people have bought the shirt and it would be wrong for me to leave them out of pocket, so if anyone who has happened to buy the shirt with the number 17 - I’m hugely grateful - and if they want to send it in then I’ll be happy to pay for them to swap it for the new number.”

Townsend's move is a clear indication that he is eager to step into the shoes Bolasie has worn over the last few seasons. It appears likely now that Alan Pardew was conscious that the Democratic of Congo international was open to a transfer this summer, and that the decision to bring in the England winger from his former club looks a particularly savvy piece of business.

Crystal Palace's Yannick BolasieCrystal Palace's Yannick Bolasie

Either way, though the old and new Palace number 10s are both attacking midfielders, Townsend and Bolasie have different qualities. The new Everton signing's flair and unpredictability is one of his great strengths, even though he has been unable to add a significant goal threat to his game - Bolasie hasn't scored more than five times in a Premier League season.

Townsend on the other hand has been accused of being too direct with both his desire to find the net and his work with the ball, though of course these are huge positives when he is in form. The final few months of last season saw the 25-year-old impress at St James' Park, as he scored four times in just 13 matches at a side that ended up relegated.

Crystal Palace's Andros Townsend in action with West Bromwich Albion's Craig GardnerCrystal Palace's Andros Townsend in action with West Bromwich Albion's Craig Gardner

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