Crystal Palace had two signings fall through in the final few days of the transfer window.
Palace signed Matheus Franca, Jefferson Lerma, Dean Henderson and Rob Holding in the summer, but Roy Hodgson has revealed two more players were “pretty much assured” to join the Eagles, before both moves broke down.
Addressing the limited size of his squad, Hodgson said: “That was unlucky, because [chairman] Steve Parish and [sporting director] Dougie Freedman worked very hard in that last week going to the end of the transfer window on two players that they and we thought were pretty much assured to be able to come to us.
“We were counting on them, which would have made a big difference to the size of the squad. But unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstance, we lost both of those and it was too late to get anybody else. It wasn’t bad planning — we were a victim of circumstance.
“And, of course, we’ve been exceptional victims of circumstance in terms of the injuries we’ve picked up in this period in particular. It won’t change before the end of the international break. But there is hope that with any luck, when that international break comes to an end, then we might get a couple of these players back again, and that will increase the squad.”
Palace currently have seven first-team players out injured, with long-term absentees Lerma, Franca, Naouirou Ahamada and Michael Olise all expected to return to action shortly after the October international break.
Goalkeeper Henderson made his Palace debut in Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat to his former club Manchester United, but he was taken off after just 19 minutes with a muscle injury. Hodgson revealed on Friday that the initial scans “didn’t look good.”
“He’s devastated”, the Palace manager added. “He’s been excellent in training, so good in the month we’ve had with him where he’s not had a chance to play. He was always going to play in this game and he was really looking forward to it. To pick up an injury in the same area — not in the same place, but in the same area — is absolutely devastating for him. I couldn’t have written a worse scenario.
“Both he and we can only hope that it’s not as serious as the first scan shows. Whatever the length of the break he’s now got to take from football, it’s really come at the wrong time. We feel bitterly sorry for him.”