Guest Post – Bolasie: The View from Palace

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After Everton signed Yannick Bolasie from Crystal Palace yesterday for a reported fee of around £22.5 million, I spoke to to HLTCO.org – A Crystal Palace fan blog – to get their views on the player. Here’s what they had to say:

When Yannick Bolasie first signed for Crystal Palace for a fee of just £300,000 back in 2012, few knew anything about the former Hillingdon Borough wide man. Having been shunted to one side by the management staff at Bristol City, he arrived in SE25 with a burning desire to prove his numerous doubters wrong; which, in his own unique style he has managed in more ways than one.

How Palace fans feel…

A few Evertonians may suggest that it’s nothing more than sour grapes from those of a red and blue persuasion, but as supporters who have watched the fleet-footed winger on an almost weekly basis for close to half a decade, the word that most readily comes to mind when trying to describe Yannick’s game is “inconsistent”.

I will be the first to admit that he is capable of producing jaw-dropping moments of individual skill out of nowhere, but for each and every one of those occasions, you’re likely to see an equal number of frustrating missteps and failed crosses. 

Having fought our way up from the foot of the Championship with Bolasie acting as an ever-present figure, our fans have perhaps cut him slack in the years than have followed where numerous Toffees won’t but unfortunately, there’s no way to know for sure if he will hit the ground running or encounter a somewhat apathetic response from the Goodison faithful.

Strengths and weaknesses…

Whenever a casual fan is forced to think of Yannick Bolasie, the first image that will no doubt pop into their mind will be one of him dribbling past a full-back at pace and rightly so. Happily partnered with Wilfried Zaha on respective flanks for the majority of his stay at Selhurst Park, Yala is seldom more at ease than when given license to terrorise defenders close to the touch-line, but for all of the dazzling flicks and tricks that regular viewers of Match Of The Day have been treated to over the years, there are still serious question marks over the 27-year-old’s end product.

Given the fact that you’re reading this, you’ve no doubt seen that Yannick has bagged just 13 goals in 144 appearances for us, three of which came in a ridiculous 11 minute spell at the Stadium Of Light last April; hardly the sort of return most on Merseyside will be expecting for a player who has just prompted Ronald Koeman into breaking your record transfer fee.

In many ways, that afternoon in the North East perfectly embodies the infuriating potential that Bolasie has at his disposal. When everything clicks, he can look like a genuine world beater but more often than not over the last four years, we have been left wanting him to figure out a way of producing his top-level of performance more frequently than once a month.

Is he worth the money?

With the recent bumper TV deal impacting the transfer budgets of each and every Premier League club, it’s become painfully obvious that £25 million isn’t worth anywhere near what it was five years ago in relation to player recruitment. That being said, most Palace fans firmly believe that we have done remarkably well to secure the fee mentioned above for a player of Bolasie’s status.

Whilst there is a very real chance that he could set the world alight under the guidance of Ronald Koeman, most supporters, having seen more than enough of Yala over the years to judge, are relatively confident of the ceilings upon which his game is likely to bump its figurative head in the months and years to come.

It’s certainly going to be interesting to see how he gets on.

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