Crystal Palace to see Alexander Sorloth slip through net as transfer clause backfires

Alexander Sorloth won’t play for Crystal Palace again and the Eagles have been left helpless by a clause they negotiated in his two-year loan with Trabzonspor. Roy Hodgson has been left to rue the forward’s untimely revival following the decision to let him leave the club on loan for a second time at the end of the summer transfer window last August.

It could be argued that £2.5million signing Jordan Ayew has saved the club from relegation given that his nine league goals have been worth an incredible 14 points this season.

Palace finish the campaign having scored just 31 goals in the Premier League, the second lowest total in the division besides bottom of the table Norwich (26).

All the while, Selhurst Park outcast Sorloth has found the back of the net 32 times in all competitions, winning the Turkish Super Lig Golden Boot with 24 goals, beating former Newcastle man Papiss Cisse in the process.

Trabzonspor may have missed out on the title to Istanbul Basaksehir by just four points but Sorloth is already relishing the chance to play in Europe’s elite club competition next season, with Champions League football already secured for the second half of his two-year loan spell.

His prolific strike rate has captured the interest of several clubs across the continent including Lazio and Wolfsburg.

Before one match this season, Sorloth’s Snapchat group chat with his friends back home was spammed with reports linked him to Real Madrid as he tried to restore his focus in the dressing room.

Trabzonspor have an obligation to buy Sorloth for just £5.5million which would be triggered if he plays 50 percent of the club’s matches next season.

Palace are powerless and cannot break the loan agreement, meaning they will have to watch Sorloth leave on the cheap. Trabzonspor president Ahmet Agaoglu intends to trigger the clause prematurely this summer but a source has told Express Sport that he will then “move to Germany or Spain”.

Sorloth has watched his international team-mates Erling Braut Haaland and Martin Odegaard thrive in the Bundesliga and La Liga respectively, two leagues deemed to compliment the development of attacking players.

The source from Turkey added: “Alexander knows he must play for an offensive team. He loves to score goals and feel like the team can rely on him.”

This was sadly not the case for Sorloth in south London and although opportunities were sparse, he was often shunted out wide under Hodgson who brought him to the club for £9m from FC Midtjylland in January 2018, with the deal completed just three minutes before the deadline.

The 24-year-old has a lust for goals and Trabzonspor have enabled him to rediscover his confidence and find a sense of belonging after being made to feel like a spare part at Crystal Palace.


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Chairman Steve Parish has demanded answers as to why Sorloth was allowed to slip through the net given the club’s lack of goals.

After moving on loan to Genk in the second half of the 2018/19 season, he is said to have known his time at the club may have been up just a year after moving to the Premier League.

In January, Hodgson claimed he was expecting to work with Sorloth again at Palace but unless the striker is prepared to push to return this summer that will not happen.

The Palace boss, who made checks on Sorloth with contacts in Scandinavia before signing him was still not convinced that his hot streak in Turkey would translate to goals in the Premier League when speaking last December.

“The fact is you’re so dependent, coming to a new club, especially as a forward, on a good start,” said Hodgson last year.

“You have to impress everyone: the other players, the coaching staff, the fans. The bottom line is, the chances that came his way with us, he didn’t really take. He didn’t give the impression that he was going to be our new centre-forward.

“We’ve done the right thing. He’s on loan, he’s still a Palace player, and it’s good he’s scoring goals. He’s even scoring goals for the Norway national team.

“We’re really pleased about that. But everything needs a context. Scoring a goal somewhere else doesn’t mean you’d score in the Premier League at Selhurst Park at the weekend.”

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