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Could Crystal Palace’s Andros Townsend make the move to Leicester City?

The Boot Room



Andros Townsend

Transfer deadline day is approaching, with several teams keen on adding to their squads before the summer window closes.

Leicester City are the latest to declare their interest in a player, with Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend firmly on their radar as the Foxes look to boost their attacking options.

According to the Mirror, Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare is keen to bid for the England wide-man, who has struggled to impose himself at Selhurst Park after signing for £12 million from Newcastle last January.

So will the move happen, and would Townsend be a good fit at the King Power Stadium?

Why the Future of Mahrez could be influential

Leicester’s final decision could well be influenced by the future of Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez, who has been linked with a move away from the club throughout the summer (with Serie A club Roma particularly interested).

Despite sustained speculation surrounding his future, Sky Sport Italia has suggested that Roma have now withdrawn their interest in Mahrez, with the player largely expected to remain at the King Power Stadium for at least another season. 

The player himself has refused to make a public issue out of his future, while the commitment and energy that he showcased during the recent 2-0 defeat against Manchester United seemed to confirm that he is focused on his football.

Although this may seem to make the chances of Leicester moving for Townsend less likely, the latest rumours have hinted at a swap deal that could see the Foxes’ talented wideman Demarai Gray swap clubs.

The report in the Mirror, which initially suggested that Leicester would bid a straight cash fee of £27 million for Townsend, confirmed that Gray could be used as a makeweight in the transfer alongside an additional cash sum of around £10 million.

Such a move would probably come as a surprise to Leicester fans, despite the fact that the 21-year-old Gray has played predominantly as a substitute since joining the club from Birmingham in January 2016.

He has certainly impressed during his cameo appearances for the club, offering superior pace and a more potent attacking threat to the hard-working Marc Albrighton.

He certainly excelled at Old Trafford on Saturday, causing problems with his direct running while setting up a glorious chance for Andy King in the dying moments.

Despite this, a lack of game-time may encourage the youngster to consider a future away from the King Power Stadium, and in this instance Townsend would at least provide a direct replacement with his purposeful running and innate ability to score goals.

What are the chances of a deal?

With little time left to secure a deal, both parties will need to agree terms quickly if the transfer is to take place before the end of the summer window.

The retention of Mahrez may also weaken their resolve to complete a deal, while Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer is surely focused on improving his squad with the side winless after three Premier League matches.

This may change if Gray or Townsend force a move ahead of Thursday’s deadline, or if Mahrez is the subject of a late bid that both the club and the player find it hard to turn down. We should certainly watch this space as the transfer deadline approaches, particularly with both Leicester and Palace struggling at the bottom end of the table.

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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



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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Crystal Palace

Wilfried Zaha would be an underwhelming signing for Liverpool



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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Crystal Palace

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



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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