Crystal Palace have completed the signing of Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh on a free transfer, confirmed manager Ian Holloway.
Since signing for Arsene Wenger from Bordeaux in 2010, Chamakh was largely considered a flop at the Emirates. He scored seven goals in 15 league matches for the Gunners, and then faded rapidly, making just 16 appearances in the last three seasons.
He went on loan at West Ham last season and even there made just three appearances.
“It’s about him getting going again and I normally do all right with people whose careers are faltering” said Holloway, who offered the Morrocan an excuse for his Emirates failures. “I wouldn’t fancy being Robin van Persie’s understudy. It couldn’t have been fun.”
The 29-year-old will battle with newcomers Dwight Gayle, Kevin Phillips, and Stephen Dobbie for the minutes up front, with last season’s goal-hawk Wilfred Zaha having returned to Manchester United.
However, Holloway earlier Sunday in a column he writes for the Sunday Mirror, condemned the role agents play in the game today, writing, “‘The game has got more than its fair share of chancers, parasites and hangers-on just out to make a quick killing.”
He even stated the more high-profile you get, the worse the problem appears to be. “The higher up the food chain you go, the greedier they seem to become.
“I have lost count of the number of players we have been offered since we hit a £100 million jackpot with our play-off win over Watford. Many agents seem to believe that money belongs to them by right. Some approach you, claiming to have a mandate to work on behalf of players and the clubs that are selling them. In reality, most of the time, they have no agreement in place and are just chancing their arm.”
Holloway, manager of Blackpool when they were relegated three years ago, remarked at feeling vastly different than the last time he was in the Premier League. “I am feeling like a mountaineer, standing at the foot of Everest” he said.
It’s interesting timing given the deal with Chamakh, although the fact their deal went through suggests he’s not directly referring to that particular deal.