Crystal Palace had agreed a deal to sign Michael Hector, before Chelsea muscled into the picture and snapped the former Reading man up on deadline day, it has been confirmed.
As relayed by the Daily Mirror, Palace’s co-owner, Steve Parish, has made it known that his club were close to landing Hector, but couldn’t compete once the reigning Premier League title holders arrived on the scene late yesterday.
No grudges held
Hector signed for Chelsea for an estimated £4million before the summer transfer window slammed shut but, as Parish has confirmed, things could well have been different for the youngster.
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"We had a deal for Michael Hector at Reading – that was a done deal and we thought we had that one," Parish said.
“Unfortunately the might of Chelsea came in and the player chose to go there, so at least we’re getting the right targets.
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“I am sure Michael will do very well at Chelsea and we wish him all the best.
“We don’t hold grudges, Chelsea are a big club and I think he has supported them since a kid, so you can understand why he chose them.”
With it widely assumed that Hector will now be immediately loaned back to Reading for the remainder of the season one has to question whether or not he would have been given more of an immediate chance in the Premier League, had he chosen Palace.
The Selhurst Park outfit look to be in frighteningly good form so far this campaign, and yet their size and stature implies that a burgeoning talent like Hector would have been able to get himself first-team chances.
That’s not likely to be the case at Stamford Bridge anytime soon however, with Jose Mourinho already boasting a wealth of centre-backs who are far more experienced at the highest level than Hector is.
John Terry may be steadily on his way out, but the likes of Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma, as well as fellow new boy Papy Djilobodji will stay ahead of Hector in the pecking order for the foreseeable future. He’s sure to be desperate not to become another loan statistic associated with the west London giants.
Chelsea fans, what do you think to Hector’s singing? Palace fans, should he have chosen you instead? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.