By Harry Sykes
Tony Cascarino has claimed that Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend’s “career is the strangest I have ever seen”.
This comes just six months after Townsend quit Rafael Benitez’s team following a half-season spell at St James’ Park.
High-profile pundit Cascarino has been dumbfounded by how often Tottenham academy product Townsend, 25, is on the move, given that he also had a continuous stream of loans while emerging through the White Hart Lane ranks.
“Townsend’s career is the strangest I have ever seen,” Cascarino wrote in the Times on Monday. “Tottenham Hotspur him out to nine clubs before they sold him, and he still behaves like he is always on the move.
“He joined Newcastle United and upon their relegation signed for Crystal Palace, but now is being linked with a return to the northeast. Even his England career feels like a loan spell — a burst of good games and then he has faded away. He is 25 now and needs to find somewhere he can establish himself.”
Townsend is reportedly open to a return to Newcastle even though they are in the Championship and locked in a battle to make an instant return to the Premier League.
He quit Rafael Benitez’s side when they dropped through the relegation trap door and has been a regular at Palace this season, starting 17 of the team’s 22 league matches.
But the right-winger has not set Selhurst Park alight and has scored just one goal and provided two assists for the relegation-threatened London club.
He was dropped to the bench by Sam Allardyce for Saturday’s 1-0 defeat against Everton and did not come on as a substitute until the 88th minute.
Football Insider verdict:
Cascarino is right. Townsend needs to stop thinking the grass is always greener on the other side. It is time for him to tell his agent to turn off the phone for a few transfer windows, settle down and do consistent justice to his talent. He has so often flattered to deceive, and it is no coincidence that the best moments of the winger’s career have come in international football when he has more time on the ball. At Premier League level, Townsend is a luxury that some managers would rather do without, Mauricio Pochettino among them. Yes, he can do a job. Yes, he can drive forward with the ball. And, yes, he has a decent left foot. Townsend is a sound option, and should rip it up in the Championship, but the jury is out on his effectiveness in the Premier League.
In other Newcastle transfer news, an emphatic decision has been made on this player tipped to join the Magpies.