Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Mainz 05 Sporting Director Christian Heidel has been speaking to Sport1 about Jean-Philippe Mateta’s difficult situation at Crystal Palace.

What’s the story?

Well, the Frenchman is seriously struggling in south London right now.

Since arriving at Selhurst Park in January 2020, Mateta has started just four games, and has scored just one goal for the Eagles.

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Interestingly, Patrick Vieira has axed the 24-year-old from his last two Premier League squads.

Now, Mainz 05 have given their side of the situation through Heidel.

Sport1 quote him as saying: “That’s not an issue yet, but only at the end of the current season. It was very clear to us and to him that he would have strong competition at Crystal Palace. He is a young player. He consciously chose the step, we agreed to this request. 

“If things don’t improve at all by winter then we may need to talk to Crystal Palace about whether there are other options. We don’t just keep our fingers crossed for him out of self-interest.”

In our view, Heidel sounds calm about the situation, and it was nice to see him say Mainz 05 aren’t only hoping Mateta succeeds for their own good.

What do Crystal Palace do with Jean-Philippe Mateta?

Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

It will be interesting to see who blinks first here.

Presumably, Crystal Palace will face a punishment if they decide to terminate the loan deal, which sees Mateta sign permanently for £13m if he starts 15 games.

On the other hand, Mainz 05 won’t want to recall the striker, as they only loaned him out in the hope of selling him permanently (BILD).

A recall would signal defeat from the Bundesliga side, and they’d also be stuck with a much less valuable version of Mateta compared to what they had before he joined the Eagles.

Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images

At that point, the striker was actually hot property with seven goals in 15 Bundesliga appearances.

So, will Crystal Palace decide to offload Mateta, or will they continue to leave him out while Mainz 05 sit and watch?

Only time will tell – keep an eye on this strange situation.

In other news, ‘Does he have what it really takes?’ Pundit raises doubt over Arsenal star