Belfast Telegraph

Double signing key for Pardew

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew believes Jordon Mutch and Shola Ameobi will bring the goals and guts to rescue the Eagles from relegation this season.

Palace completed deals for both players on Thursday morning, with Mutch signing a four-and-a-half-year contract and Ameobi joining until the end of the campaign.

Mutch only moved to QPR last summer but injuries hindered the midfielder and he only managed 11 appearances for Harry Redknapp's side.

"I was impressed by Mutch at Cardiff last season when I was Newcastle boss," Pardew said.

"It's true that he has had a number of injuries. You never know with a young player.

"He has fantastic technique. His left foot hit is as hard as his right. It's difficult to work out.

"One of our defensive statements is to not show the goal to a player, but it is very difficult not to show him the goal because he goes both sides and hits it just as well off both feet.

"He will score goals. His fitness and playing every week is the benchmark for him."

Mutch scored seven times for Cardiff in the Barclays Premier League last season and Pardew admits he sought advice from former Bluebirds manager Malky Mackay, whom he knows from his time as West Ham manager.

"I spoke to Malky about him," Pardew said.

"It would have been silly of me not to because Malky was my old skipper.

"I've had many conversations with him regarding Jordon, not just at this club but when I was at Newcastle and, of course, they must have been the right noises for me to have signed him."

Pardew says Mutch is fit and could make his debut against Everton on Saturday but Ameobi may take longer to regain sharpness after leaving Turkish side Gaziantep in December.

"Shola is a player that doesn't play every game, he never did at Newcastle," Pardew said.

"But when big games come around he has this ability to raise his level.

"He scored fabulous goals for me in big games at Newcastle and that ingredient is important.

"There will be tension and players will be nervous from now until the end of the year.

"Shola won't be exhibiting that and he will spread that around the group.

"He's a real leader of men, a real gentleman. He's more than just a player to me."

Palace also expect to sign Lille full-back Pape Souare before the end of the week.

Souare is due to have a medical on Thursday after returning from the African Nations Cup following Senegal's elimination in the group stages.

"The process is pretty far down the line,'' Pardew said.

"He's travelling back, will come straight for a medical and then if he passes that, he looks to be signing as well."

Pardew added: "That will be it if those three players are concluded.

"Deadline day is one of those days where you look across the board and there might be a young player who is attractive to us but we have a big squad now and a squad we hope can carry us forward."

Pardew also said he was "in the dark" over a potential permanent deal to re-sign Manchester United forward Wilfried Zaha.

Zaha has made 18 appearances for the Eagles since joining the club on loan at the start of the season.

Pardew also revealed Palace striker Glenn Murray has agreed a one-year contract extension with the club.

Murray scored 31 goals in 45 appearances during the 2012/13 season to help the Eagles secure promotion from the Championship. He spent the first half of this season on loan at Reading but has been brought back into the side by Pardew.


From Belfast Telegraph