The Crystal Palace manager, Alan Pardew, will throw the non-league signing Keshi Anderson straight into the squad for Saturday’s Premier League relegation clash at Leicester. Anderson, 19, joined Palace on deadline day from Barton Rovers, who play in Southern League Division One Central – seven tiers below the top flight.
The striker has scored 19 goals for Rovers this season but secured his move, for only £7,000, after netting a six-minute hat-trick against Palace in a trial match for Brentford.
“Six minutes isn’t bad is it? He’s just got a chance, that’s what it is,” Pardew said. “It’s an opportunity for him, he trained with us today and I’ve put him in the squad tomorrow. It’ll be good experience for him to come to see what goes on and his headlights are still full on.
“I told him this morning to forget where he has come from, to forget about the fee. He’s now a Crystal Palace footballer and he’ll be classed the same as Jordon Mutch who has cost £4.5m.”
Pardew himself made the leap from non-league football when he joined Palace from Yeovil Town in 1987. “Keshi is a player that came to our attention very late – there was a little bit of interest in him from other clubs,” Pardew added.
“He played against us and just caught our eye. It’s a great opportunity for him and a similar route that I took myself, coming from non-league, so he’ll have great, sympathetic eyes from me looking for him to progress.”
Palace also re-signed Wilfried Zaha on deadline day, making permanent the winger’s loan move from Manchester United. Zaha left Palace for United two years ago but has returned to Selhurst Park after failing to establish himself at Old Trafford.
“The most important thing is to have a player that you are going to enhance and bring value to the football club and not to somebody else,” Pardew said. “I thought it was important we secured his future here and kick-started his career. He has fabulous technical ability and he needs to bring that on a consistent basis to the first team.”
Palace will be without their captain, Mile Jedinak, for the trip to Leicester after the midfielder returned from helping Australia win the Asian Cup with a sore ankle. Yannick Bolasie is also unavailable. The winger is at the Africa Cup of Nations with DR Congo, who play a third-place play-off on Saturday.
The midfielder drops down to the Championship to join Russell Slade's side on a two-and-a-half-year contract.
O'Keefe, 23, spent time on loan in the division with Blackpool earlier this season and featured just once for Palace after Alan Pardew's appointment.
He told the Cardiff website: "I'm really happy to be a Cardiff City player. I enjoyed my four years at Palace, but I wanted to come here now for a new challenge. I’m 23 and I felt it was the right time to take the next step in my career.
"I like to bring a bit of energy to midfield and keep the ball moving in that area of the park. That’s what my game is about and the gaffer has asked me to come in and contribute to the side in that way."
Lambert’s £3.25m capture of winger Carles Gill from Valencia looks likely to be his only piece of business.
A move for Manchester City’s Scott Sinclair now appears to be dead in the water.
The Villa boss revealed that a mixture of finances, suitability and availability of players meant he might have to stick with what he’s got.
Lambert said: “Will there be any more coming in? The way it’s looking at the moment ‘no.’
“It’s a mixture of everything really. Anything with Scott, is dead. It’s just the way it is at the moment.”
The 23-year-old France international is wanted by Arsenal and Liverpool, while PSG are also keeping tabs on him in case they let Edinson Cavani leave.
Lacazette is top scorer in Ligue 1 with 20 goals this season and was also linked to Manchester City last month before the Premier League champions signed Wiflried Bony from Swansea.
But reports in France suggest Arsenal and Liverpool are currently the front-runners for his signature and a deal could be done this month.
Liverpool are still to replace Luis Suarez after his £75m sale to Barcelona with Mario Balotelli struggling and a deal to bring Divock Origi's move forward proving unlikely.
Arsene Wenger, who snapped up Danny Welbeck in the summer, is keen to improve his forward options with Olivier Giroud and the former Manchester United man his only real options.
Yaya Sanogo has been sent out on loan to Crystal Palace, leaving Wenger with just the two out-and-out strikers for the rest of the season.
Lacazette would cost at least £20m and is more likely to move in the summer with Lyon chasing the Ligue 1 title.
Leicester City striker Andrej Kramaric has revealed he turned down the chance to sign for Chelsea this January following his £9m move to the Premier League.
The Croatian youngster has been high in demand for some time, but says he preferred to join Leicester over the Blues in order to ensure he was playing regularly.
Although the Foxes face the very real threat of relegation this season, Kramaric says he felt something good about the club and is optimistic that the team can battle for their top flight survival this term.
“Chelsea is the biggest team in the Premier League, but I chose Leicester because I feel something good here,” the 23-year-old was quoted by the Daily Mirror.
“I think I will play much more here and I hope we will stay in the Premier League.”
Elsewhere, the Blues are said to be preparing to offload Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah just a year after signing him from FC Basel – perhaps a sign of what Kramaric would have been dealing with if he’d made the move to Stamford Bridge.
Many players have been snapped up by Jose Mourinho’s side at a young age and then loaned out without playing for the club’s first-team, while Salah has mainly been among the substitutes in his year with the side.