Three Arsenal players Vieira could sign for Palace, including £27m man and two London-born stars
Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira is close to returning to the Premier League with the Frenchman close to joining Crystal Palace.
First reported by the Athletic, the former Gunners captain will succeed Roy Hodgson’s at the east London side as manager.
Indeed, Vieira at Palace will be an interesting watch for neutral supporters. And for Arsenal, it could open up an opportunity to allow some players to depart the club, either permanently or on loan, to play under the Invincible talisman.
So, which three players could Vieira lure from north London south to the capital this summer?
Palace could be a new home for Nketiah
Despite the Athletic reporting that the club have offered the striker a new contract, Eddie Nketiah is expected to leave Arsenal this summer.
The London-born England U-21 captain was nothing more of a bit-part player last season under Mikel Arteta. And this transfer window could offer a chance for Nketiah to leave the Emirates for good. Enter, Crystal Palace.
Whilst Christian Benteke signed a new contract earlier in the window and had an impressive season with the Eagles, the south London side needs more than just the Belgian international leading the line.
Nketiah has proven to be a fine finisher, and with the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Eberechi Eze, the 21-year-old cold flourish at Selhurst Park.
Vieira could recruit Maitland-Niles to Crystal Palace
Another player who could leave north London this summer is Ainsley Maitland-Niles. What is more, the midfielder has been linked with a move to Crystal Palace.
According to the Mirror, the Eagles are keen on the Ilford-born player after an impressive half-season loan spell with West Bromwich Albion.
Indeed, with Maitland-Niles expected to leave the Gunners this summer, the 24-year-old is an ideal target for Vieira.
Add into account the midfielder’s versatility to play both in the centre of the park and out on the wings and at fullback, and Palace could have a player who will be a valuable asset to have.
PL football might beckon for Saliba in south London
The third name Vieira could lure is William Saliba, a defender who joined Nice shortly after the French manager was sacked from his position at the south France club.
Indeed, Saliba’s future at Arsenal remains as questionable as ever. The Gunners are close to signing Brighton and Hove Albion defender Ben White, the 20-year-old defender will likely have to make way for the England international.
Since arriving for £27m as reported by BBC Sport two years ago, the youngster is yet to play for the Gunners first-team.
Yet Palace could be an ideal destination for Saliba. The centre-back flourished with Nice last season and looks ready for a step up to Premier League football. And the appeal of playing under a French legend such as Vieira could be an appealing prospect for the youngster.
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