Jean-Philippe Mateta: Crystal Palace signs a loan with option to buy for the Mainz striker | Football news

Crystal Palace has signed French striker Jean-Philippe Mateta from Mainz on an 18-month loan with option to buy.

The 23-year-old arrived in London on Wednesday for a medical before a move worth up to £ 16million with Palace paying an initial loan fee of £ 2.7million.

Palace will have the option to make the move permanent for £ 13.4million, but that will become an obligation if and when Mateta has started 15 Premier League games.

Palace has a long-standing interest in Mateta, and Max Meyer’s departure from the club earlier in January has made room for his arrival.

“I am very happy to come to Crystal Palace and look forward to training,” Mateta said on the club’s website. “Playing in the Premier League was my dream when I was a kid. Now that I can play I will show Crystal Palace fans what I can do.”

The striker has impressed in the Bundesliga for Mainz, scoring 10 goals in 17 appearances this season, including a hat-trick against Freiburg.

“We have been following Jean-Philippe’s development with keen interest for some time, and I am very happy that we have been able to bring him to South London,” said Palace President Steve Parish.

“He is a player full of potential with a proven goalscoring record, and his signing reiterates our commitment to ensuring that we have a well-rounded squad in terms of youth and experience for the seasons to come.”

Mateta will offer Roy Hodgson another option at the center-forward, who already has Christian Benteke, Jordan Ayew and Michy Batshuayi, the Chelsea forward.

Palace have struggled to score goals by their forwards this season, with Benteke scoring three league goals, Ayew scoring only one and Batshuayi has yet to open his account.

Mateta started his professional career in the French third division and was recruited by the seven-time champion Lyon, before a successful loan from Le Havre saw him move to Mainz.

In the Bundesliga he has established himself as a regular, scoring 27 goals in 71 games in total.

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