Crystal Palace are playing catch up this transfer window as they were late to appoint their new manager. Frank de Boer will want to bring in players that suit the style of play that he wants to bring to Selhurst Park.
The Mirror report that the Dutchman wants to sign Thomas Vermaelen, who is currently out-of-favour at Barcelona. He spent last season on loan at AS Roma and the new Palace boss wants him to be the first big name signing of his tenure.
The player is reportedly keen on a return to England, despite having two years left on his contract at the Nou Camp.
What would he bring to Selhurst Park?
First of all, he would be comfortable with the possession-based style that De Boer will want to implement at the club. He came through the ranks at Ajax and he is good with the ball at his feet. There are few better passers of the ball in his position and he is happy to step forward to launch attacks from deep.
It will take time for De Boer to get his tactical ideas across to his new squad, but it would accelerate the process if he signs players that are suited to the style. Vermaelen would certainly fit that billing.
His qualities as a player are obvious, but he could have as big of an influence off the field. Palace lacked character under Alan Pardew and they need to sign players with the right mentality to address that. Vermaelen is a winner and has played for several big European clubs.
During his time at Arsenal, he captained the side and was seen as a leader in the dressing room. It would be a great capture for Palace as it will send a message that they are a club heading in the right direction.
How likely is a deal?
It is very early days for this deal and there have been several names linked to the club since the appointment of De Boer. Although it isn’t clear whether the interest in Vermaelen is genuine, it is a deal that makes a lot of sense for all parties.
Palace would be gaining an experienced player that would suit the style of play that is likely to be implemented by the new manager; Barcelona would have the opportunity to offload a player surplus to requirements and Vermaelen would have the chance to move back to the Premier League.