Palace sign French striker Mateta on loan


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Bundesliga - Bayer Leverkusen v 1. FSV Mainz 05 - BayArena, Leverkusen, Germany - June 27, 2020 Mainz's Jean-Philippe Mateta in action with Leverkusen's Lars Bender, following the resumption of play behind closed doors after the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Martin Meissner/Pool via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - Crystal Palace have signed French striker Jean-Philippe Mateta from Bundesliga side Mainz on an 18-month loan deal, the Premier League club said on Thursday.

The 23-year-old has scored 10 goals in 17 appearances this season. He was part of the France team that reached the semi-finals of the under-21 European Championship in 2019.

"I'm very happy to come to Palace and I look forward to training. Playing in the Premier League was my dream when I was a child. Now I can play, I will show the fans of Crystal Palace what I can do," Mateta told the club's website https://www.cpfc.co.uk/news/2021/january/jean-philippe-mateta-joins-crystal-palace.

Palace chairman Steve Parish said the club had followed the development of Mateta, who began his career at French third-tier side Chateroux before joining Ligue 1 Olympique Lyonnais.

Mateta had a loan spell at Le Havre before moving to Mainz in 2018, scoring 27 goals for the German club in 71 games.

Palace said they have an option to make the move permanent.

"He's a player that is full of potential with a proven goal-scoring record," Parish said.

"And his signing reiterates our commitment to ensuring we have a well-balanced squad in terms of youth and experience for the seasons ahead."

Palace, who are 13th in the league, host West Ham United on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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