Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend has claimed that he could be handed the opportunity to play in the Champions League next season.
What has Townsend said about his future?
The 29-year-old is out of contract at Selhurst Park at the end of the month, meaning that he could become a free agent in the coming weeks. He now appears to be planning his next move.
Townsend, speaking on the Original Penguin X Campaign Against Living Miserably Under The Surface podcast, has confirmed that he has received offers from abroad which could allow him to play in Europe’s elite competition in 2021/22.
He said: “I’m at a point in my career where I’m 29 and I need to make the right decision for my career. I love the Premier League and I want to get as many games as I can in the Premier League whilst I am able but there’s a couple of options overseas where there’s possible Champions League football which unfortunately I’m never going to get in the Premier League.
“There’s a few options at the moment which I need to figure out, what is the right move for me, but there are a few options that offer Champions League football which is another big dream of mine, to walk out and hear that iconic music!”
Has Townsend played in Europe before?
The 13-cap international did play in the Europa League on 28 occasions during his time at Tottenham between 2011 and 2015. He registered 12 goal involvements in these matches, displaying his talent on the European stage.
However, he has never featured in the Champions League, so it is understandable that he is considering moving overseas in order to play in this competition.
What were Townsend’s stats in 2020/21?
Townsend was used regularly by Roy Hodgson in 2020/21 as he featured in 34 Premier League matches, although he did start nine of these games on the bench, so he has not always been a guaranteed starter.
The attacker chipped in with six goal contributions, including scoring in Palace’s 3-1 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford back in September.
He received an average match rating of 6.88 from WhoScored – which ranked him joint-second amongst his teammates – suggesting that he still has plenty left in the tank as he approaches his 30th birthday.
Could Townsend stay at Palace?
This remains a distinct possibility.
Speaking earlier this week on talkSPORT, Townsend confirmed that he would “love to stay in the Premier League” and that he is waiting to see how things pan out with regards to Palace appointing their next manager following Roy Hodgson walking away from the club last month.
If the Eagles make an ambitious appointment and the manager wants to keep Townsend, he may well decide that he does want to stay at Palace and could put pen to paper on a new deal to extend his time at the south London club.