Crystal Palace have reportedly made a U-turn on Jean-Philippe Mateta, with the striker now set to stay with the club despite rumours that his loan spell was to be cut short.
According to the Express, the attacker will remain at Selhurst Park for the remainder of the season after impressing on Boxing Day against Norwich City as well as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the Premier League.
As per the report, Palace are willing to keep the 24-year-old at the club as a backup for Odsonne Edouard and Christian Benteke despite interest from French and German clubs in the on loan from Mainz 05 striker.
Palace have an obligation to sign the attacker for £13m if Mateta starts 15 games for Patrick Vieira’s side according to Football London. And with the forward now remaining in south London, this clause could well be activated.
Indeed, it would be a stunning turn of events given that the forward looked set to leave Palace in January. Yet after Mateta’s performance against the Canaries, opinions seemed to have changed.
As per the club’s official website, Will Hughes was full of praise for Mateta, with the former Watford star labelling the striker as ‘brilliant’ after bagging his goal against Norwich in late December.
Mateta could be useful for Palace between now and May
After the first half of the season, it makes sense why Palace were eager to cut Mateta’s loan spell short. However, after a string of impressive displays in recent weeks, retaining the striker could be a smart decision made by the club.
With transfers difficult to pull off this month given the growing concern of Covid-19, retaining Mateta until the end of the season could be a wise move from Palace given his resurgence over the past few matches.