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Does Martin Kelly have a future at Crystal Palace?

Sunday 5th November 2017
Martin Kelly was once again an unused substitute in Crystal Palace's most recent encounter, a 2-2 draw against West Ham. He is expecting more bench duty when the struggling Eagles lock horns with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon.

Kelly was a regular in Palace's defence last season, but he has since struggled for game time. As a result, the Englishman could be on his way out in coming months. Given his contract expires next summer, will Kelly remain at Selhurst Park much longer?

Lack of playing time

Kelly has made only four appearances in all competitions for Palace this season, with three coming in the Carabao Cup. He's racked up a paltry 49 minutes in the Premier League, spending more time on the bench than the pitch. The 27-year-old was a regular last season but has been completely frozen out this campaign.

Having made 29 league appearances from possible 38 in 2016/17, Kelly was somewhat indispensable in the backline. He's been expendable since, however, and now finds himself behind James Tomkins, Scott Dann and Mamadou Sakho among others in the pecking order. Palace manager Roy Hodgson gave Kelly an opportunity during his time as Liverpool boss in 2010/11, while also handing him his sole England cap in May 2012.

Kelly's situation hasn't changed since Hodgson took over at Selhurst Park, though. With the defender's contract edging closer to end, it's unlikely he will remain at the club beyond this season. Also, the Eagles are currently rock bottom of the Premier League table, meaning expenditure will be cut if they suffer relegation.

A new deal won't be offered to a player not getting first-team football, nor would Kelly want to drop a division when he's failing to command a starting place.

Social media blackout

It's certainly tough going from being a first-team regular to completely outcast. Martin Kelly's movements on social media hint that he's downbeat about the situation. He has no bio on his Twitter account and hasn't posted anything since August.
The Palace man wasn't the most Twitter-savvy footballer, but he used to keep followers updated on his movements. The silence has also extended to Instagram, having last made a post in September. It adds further uncertainty surrounding his future.

Not many clubs linked with Kelly

Although West Bromwich Albion was reportedly keen on the defender last January, nothing materialised. Burnley was also interested in August, however, Kelly remained at Selhurst Park.

Crystal Palace paid just £1.5 million to sign the Whiston-born player from Liverpool in August 2014.  He wouldn't break the bank should any clubs be interested in a thrifty defensive option. Kelly's performances last season - helping Palace stave off relegation - suggest he'd be a shrewd acquisition.

If the Eagles don't find him a place in the side, Kelly might begin looking around for suitors in January. He's unlikely to waste the entire campaign running down his contract while watching from the sidelines. Although Palace continue to struggle, the defender remains surplus to requirements.

Is Martin Kelly finished at Selhurst Park?
Crippy Cooke

Crippy is a long-suffering Aston Villa supporter and weekly football accumulator enthusiast.

Stealing a living, the balding 27-year-old boasts a wealth of writing experience - Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London 24 and Bleacher Report.

Total articles: 330

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