Can Crystal Palace's Jose Campana Help Nurnberg Avoid Bundesliga Relegation?

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentFebruary 5, 2014

CRAWLEY, WEST SUSSEX - JULY 27: Jose Campana of Crystal Palace in action during the pre season friendly match between Crawley Town and Crystal Palace at Broadfield Stadium on July 27, 2013 in Crawley, West Sussex.  (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Crystal Palace loaned out Jose Campana to Nurnberg, per Sky Sports, so can the 20-year-old Spanish youth international help Nurnberg avoid relegation in the Bundesliga?

Palace Will Regret Not Harnessing Campana's Talent 

Campana would have been an important part of Sevilla's midfield if his path was not blocked by Ivan Rakitic, Geoffrey Kondogbia and Gary Medel.

Rakitic, a complete midfielder, was a transfer target for Paris Saint-Germain, per FootMercato.net (h/t Ian Holyman at ESPN FC).

Medel, an all-round midfielder, was dynamite for Sevilla last season: He scored six La Liga goals, made 79 tackles and led the club in passes per game (51.6).

This was why Cardiff City broke their transfer fee record at the time for him (£11 million), per BBC Sport.

Kondogbia, a 6'2" midfielder who is elegant in possession, cost Monaco £18 million, per David Conn at the Guardian

Campana fell into Palace's lap at £1.75 million, per the Express.

Palace management were planning to turn him into a star, just like Sevilla had done with Kondogbia, who was not even ranked in France Football's top 100 rated Ligue 2 players during his last season at Lens.

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STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24:  Geoff Cameron of Stoke battles with Jose Campana of Palace during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Crystal Palace at Britannia Stadium on August 24, 2013 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Photo by
Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Campana started six league games for Sevilla in the past two seasons, so he was always going to take time in adjusting to the frenzied pace of the Premier League. 

What further impeded his development was his inability to communicate, as then team-mate Julian Speroni pointed out. 

"He [Campana] comes from Spain and he doesn't speak English," Speroni said, per Sam Wallace at the Independent. "I have tried to help him as a Spanish speaker. It's every single thing, like finding a house, finding a car. Everything around football."

Campana's "very, very limited" English was used by Palace first-team coach Ben Garner to mount a passionate defence countering allegations that the Spaniard was insubordinate towards management, per the Croydon Advertiser.

Despite the language barrier, then Palace manager Ian Holloway tried to implement Campana into the midfield rotation.

He was class in the 3-1 defeat to Liverpool.

The Reds were leading 3-0 at half-time and after Campana was subbed on, he made the most passes for a Palace player in the second-half (39) and created Dwight Gayle's goal, the only goal of that half.

Once Holloway was replaced by Tony Pulis, known for his kick and run tactics at Stoke City, Palace's preference for more agricultural footballers left Campana, a stylish footballer, out of the first team. 

Campana did not make a single appearance under Pulis.

Palace revealed in their press release that Nurnberg had the "option to purchase Campana on a permanent basis."

Translation: Campana has no future at Palace as long as Pulis remains in charge. 

Palace will rue Campana's botched tenure just like management wondering what could have been with Valerien Ismael, the former club record transfer fee holder, who had a brief and unceremonious few months at Palace in 1998. 

Ismael went on to win the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich and Werder Bremen.

He was ranked the fourth-best defender in the Bundesliga during the 2003-04 season, per Kicker, so in hindsight, Palace should have persevered with him. 

What Campana Brings To Nurnberg

Campana has swapped one relegation-threatened team in Palace for another in Nurnberg. 

One of the reasons why Nurnberg management targeted Campana is his tactical versatility.

Source: FIFA.com

He has played in the No. 6 role for the Spanish U-20s, and he can be a commanding influence in the centre of midfield and due to his incisive passing, he can be deployed further up-field. 

Source: Sky Sports

Campana has pedigree as a creator.

Do you remember who accumulated both assists for Sevilla in a 6-2 defeat to Real Madrid in December 2011? Campana. 

During Spain's 4-1 win over the United States in the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, Campana confidently dribbled his way out of trouble and played a perfect through-ball to Gerard Deulofeu, who scored. 

Source: FIFA TV

Gero Breloer/Associated Press

The run Deulofeu made is one Nurnberg right-winger Josip Drmic, who can also play up front, makes regularly.

Nurnberg manager Gertjan Verbeek needs an incisive passer like Campana to ease Hiroshi Kiyotake's heavy-lifting (he is the only Nurnberg player whose chances created per game is 2.0 or higher (2.5)).

Campana can be a difference-maker for Nurnberg as they attempt to avoid relegation.



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