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Three players Crystal Palace should sign on deadline day

The Boot Room

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Crystal Palace

Frank de Boer’s tenure as Crystal Palace manager has endured an abject start, with three consecutive Premier League defeats sending the Eagles spiraling into the bottom three.

Transfer deadline day may bring some much needed relief to the club, particularly with the Independent reporting that Palace may be on the verge of signing Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho for a fee that could ultimately equate to £30 million. This deal alone may not be enough to improve de Boer’s fortunes, with more signings required to improve the Dutchman’s squad and enable him to implement his fluid passing style.

So, here, The Boot Room identify three players that Crystal Palace should look to sign before the summer transfer window closes:

Lucas Perez

Worryingly, Palace are the only top-flight team that has yet to score a Premier League goal so far this season, with an out-of-form Christian Benteke serving as the club’s only fit first-team striker.

With Connor Wickham continuing to recover from an ACL injury and Fraizer Campbell having departed during the summer, Palace seriously need to invest in some firepower if they are start winning games and compensating for an increasingly porous defence.

Reports in The Sun suggest that this has encouraged Palace to enter the race for Everton outcast Oumar Niasse, who is not a part of Ronald Koeman’s plans at Goodison Park. The powerful forward, who impressed during a loan spell at Hull last season, may be a little similar to Benteke and it is debateable whether he would suit de Boer’s preferred style of play.

A more intriguing option would be outgoing Arsenal striker Lucas Perez, who according to the Daily Mail is on the verge of completing a loan move to Deportivo. Although de Boer would need to move quickly to hijack the deal, Perez would provide some much-needed movement and guile to a Palace forward line that has looked bereft of ideas so far this season.

Calum Chambers

On the subject of Palace’s defence, Sakho may not be the only addition that would help to make the Eagles more difficult to beat.

Back in July, The Telegraph reported that Palace had made a £16 million bid for Arsenal’s versatile defender Calum Chambers, who can operate at either right-back or in the centre of the defence. While this bid was rejected and Palace have not returned since, he would add some much-needed depth to the Eagles’ backline while introducing a little pace and Premier League experience.

While the talented young defender’s career has stalled under the weight of frequent injuries and a pronounced lack of game time, he performed well while on-loan at Middlesbrough last season and underlined the quality that he first showed as an academy product at Southampton.

Whether Palace have left it too late to make their move has yet to be seen, but Chambers is the type of player who could make a big difference to the club’s fortunes.

Munir El Haddadi

While de Boer’s philosophy relies heavily on wingers, the Dutchman requires his wide players to play narrower and regularly drift into central areas. Andros Townsend has struggled with this approach so far, while the enforced absence of Wilfried Zaha has left Palace short of adequate options on the flanks.

While the Eagles lost out to West Brom in the pursuit of Oliver Burke, Mundo Deportivo have reported that Palace are one of several clubs chasing Barcelona’s talented forward Munir El Haddadi. Adept at playing as part of a narrow forward three and drifting in from wide areas, he would be perfectly suited to de Boer’s system and could make an instant impact at Selhurst Park.

Leicester City’s 21-year old winger Demarai Gray has also been linked with a move to Palace, with Sky Sports understanding that de Boer is a fan of the former Birmingham City star. While Gray is arguably more of a traditional winger with genuine pace and direct running skills, he boasts an enormous amount of skill and could be deployed to good effect from the right flank.

Munir would probably be the preferred choice, particularly given his pedigree, versatility and the style of play that he possesses.

 

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Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace will be kicking themselves over Mandela Egbo

The England youth international left Crystal Palace in 2015.

Mathew Coull

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Young English winger Keanan Bennetts made the news this week, by completing a move to German side Borussia Monchengladbach. The 19-year-old turned his back on Tottenham Hotspur in order to make the move to Germany, a move that is becoming more and more regular.

Jadon Sancho, Ryan Kent and Reece Oxford all played in the Bundesliga this season, whilst Ademola Lookman was on fire for RB Leipzig by the end of the campaign.

But one young man who did the same thing will surely be leaving a sour taste in the mouth at Crystal Palace.

The player in question is 20-year-old defender Mandela Egbo. He is now one of Bennetts’ new team-mates at Gladbach and will no doubt be helping his fellow Londoner settle in the North Rhine-Westphalia.

(Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Hackney-born Egbo started his career at Crystal Palace. He swiftly rose through the ranks at the club and looked like a genuine talent for his country as well. Egbo was a member of the England squad that won the European Under-17 Championships back in 2014.

But in 2015 he decided he wanted to leave Crystal Palace. The defender joined Gladbach, where he played with their B team and saw a clearer pathway toward first-team football.

Egbo has since gone on to make his Bundesliga debut and Palace fans will realise they are now missing out on a real talent.

At 20-years-old he now appears to have matured into a very talented footballer. He simply felt that rather than getting a chance at Palace, the Eagles would always buy a new defender instead of giving him a shot.

(Photo by Raquel Costa/Getty Images)

Undoubtedly, it looks as though this has been a good career move for Egbo. Palace, on the other hand, will be disappointed they never managed to keep him in London.

Roy Hodgson would have been delighted to have a player of Egbo’s natural quality available to him in the Palace squad for next season.

Whilst fans at Selhurst Park will be gutted Egbo is not an Eagle anymore, they will no doubt wish him all the best in the Bundesliga. And who knows? Maybe, one day, Egbo will make a return to his boyhood club.

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Wilfried Zaha would be an underwhelming signing for Liverpool

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Photo: Getty Images.

Liverpool have become the latest top six club to be linked with Crystal Palace ace Wilfried Zaha as the Liverpool Echo included the Reds as one of many sides believed to be chasing the Ivory Coast winger.

However, if the club do make a move for the 25-year-old, it would show a lack of ambition after what many have perceived to be a season of progress as Liverpool have reached the Champions League final whilst retaining their top four spot.

On paper, a wideman with strength and pace who scores goals would be ready-made for Jurgen Klopp’s attacking set-up and could provide a much needed rotation option alongside the likes of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane up-front.

Despite that, it would be a huge gamble to invest in Zaha. One reason for that is that he has showed his best form at Selhurst Park in the second half of 2017/18 as Roy Hodgson gave the winger a free role in attack, allowing him freedom to switch between flanks and centrally in a number ten role.

(during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool at Selhurst Park on March 31, 2018 in London, England.

At Anfield, Zaha would not possess such an option, and if he tried to maintain many of the key traits of his game of cutting inside and drifting around near the opposition box, he would be standing on the toes of established regulars like Salah and Firmino.

Then there is the concern over Zaha’s ability to adapt. His previous spell at Manchester United hinted at the fact that he has struggled with the associated pressure of being at a big club like Liverpool or their north-western rivals, which will be a concern for any club paying the astronomical transfer fee that Crystal Palace would demand for his services.

The winger has undoubted potential, but as Champions League finalists and with money to spend, Liverpool can afford to go after established stars rather than taking expensive gambles on unproven men who have a history of inconsistency.

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West Ham can’t afford to lose Michail Antonio to Crystal Palace

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Photo: Getty Images.

Uncertainty surrounds West Ham United as a summer rollercoaster looks inevitable with big changes on and off the field. That is starting with a change in the dug-out, where The Times say that former Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is favourite to replace David Moyes. The club could pay a heavy price though, with Michail Antonio potentially at risk.

The Guardian say that London rivals Crystal Palace are looking to do their transfer business early and could pounce on the chaos at the London Stadium to poach the winger away from the Hammers.

The former Sheffield Wednesday man missed much of the 2017/18 season with on and off injuries from bruised ribs to calf strains and a pulled hamstring, which may suggest that now could be the right time to cash in on the explosive 28-year-old who relies on physicality and dynamic pace.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images,)

Yet despite that, West Ham cannot afford to be tempted into selling. Despite being sidelined by injury at various points throughout the season, when fit Antonio was always one of the first names on the team sheet under both Slaven Bilic and David Moyes.

Antonio’s tenacity and determination shows why a new manager, whether it is Pellegrini or not, should look to build their team around the winger. Able to play in a variety of roles and a real fan favourite, the unpopular Irons board would be taking a huge gamble by allowing Antonio to depart.

It is no surprise that Palace are interested, and had it not been for injury some much more high profile clubs could have come calling, but West Ham must retain the services of Michail Antonio if they are to pursue hopes of pushing for Europe.

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