0 shots on target: Hodgson’s £10.8m-rated gamble proved to be CPFC’s weakest link – opinion

After back-to-back defeats to Everton and Chelsea, Crystal Palace bounced back with a draw with Brighton in the A23 derby, before beating local rivals Fulham at Craven Cottage. But their return to form was cut short by a 2-0 defeat to Wolves at the Molineux Stadium on Friday night.

Whilst there were one or two culprits who were partially to blame for the poor performance, Michy Batshuayi turned out to be Roy Hodgson’s weakest link against Wolves. Hodgson clearly trusted the loan signing enough for him to earn his third consecutive start of the season in a row, as he had provided two assists in his previous two appearances for Palace.

But Hodgson may very well regret the decision to start Batshuayi ahead of Jordan Ayew, as the striker struggled to make an impact alongside Wilfried Zaha.

Hodgson’s side had made a bright start but Zaha skied his shot over the crossbar, before Batshuayi had a goal correctly ruled out for offside. It was a sign of things to come, as they soon fell behind shortly afterwards as Wolves debutant Rayan Ait-Nouri opened the scoring when he rifled home a shot into the bottom corner.

SofaScore gave Batshuayi an meagre grade of 6.5 for his efforts –  he failed to register a single shot on target throughout the entire game, whilst he only won four out of nine duels in total, lost possession eight times and only took 26 touches of the ball.

Likewise, soccer.london were equally unimpressed by his disappointing display, insisting “if he had any luck at all at the moment, it would probably be bad”, whilst 90min gave him a 4/10 rating, claiming he “showed some good movement but was completely isolated as Palace’s wingers couldn’t get the ball to him”, whilst he “had the ball in the back of the net but saw a third strike in consecutive games ruled out for offside.”

For whatever reason, the 31-cap Belgium international just can’t seem to find the back of the net. As 90min rightly pointed out, it’s the third time in as many games that Batshuayi has been caught offside.

It’s important for any centre-forward to get off the mark quickly for their new club, but, try as he might, Batshuayi has arguably failed to rediscover the form he enjoyed in the 2018/19 season, where he scored five goals for Palace in the Premier League, via WhoScored.

To be fair, surely Batshuayi, who is currently valued at £10.8m via Transfermarkt, has played soccer for more than long enough now to hold his run and stay onside? One thing’s for sure, Hodgson must stamp this out quickly before it becomes an embarrassing reoccurrence.

AND in other news, Forget Milivojevic: Crystal Palace’s Patrick van Aanholt seriously let Hodgson down vs Wolves…

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