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Rebuilding Crystal Palace for the 21/22 season.

After another successful mid table finish for Crystal Palace this season where they finished 14th, thoughts of Chairman Steve Parish must have gone straight to the player recruitment situation where a total of 11 players ran out of contact including players such as Scott Dann,Gary Cahill,Patrick Van Annholt and Andros Townsend who have been name stays in this Palace squad for years.It is therefore very important that Palace rebuild their squad for the forthcoming season with sensible transfers,whether loans or permanent deals.

Now Patrcik Vieria has been named as the new Palace coach it should be his priority to recruit new players for the upcoming season and ensure Palace have another stable season.This will be no easy task though as when Roy Hodgson came in (17/18) after Frank De Boer’s woeful start he made Palace a stable Premier league club who played with a counter attacking and a dogged,hard working defensive style, so when he decided to retire it sent shock waves to the Crystal Palace fans as they were wondering if this season of change would see the team go backwards. Vieira will bring a new style to the club that values slow and possession based build up through his 4-3-3 system but can also play a very defensive minded set up when playing bigger sides such as PSG as displayed when he was Nice manager.


Crystal palace need to target centre backs due to the triple loss of Cahill,Dann and Sakho,they also potentially need full back cover for the loss of Van Aanholt and we don’t yet know if Clyne and Ward will sign new contracts. Midfield cover is also required as there are only 2 recognised midfielders fit for the new season and players who ply their trade on the wings to replace and rejuvenate the squad for the forthcoming season.


At the time of this document Chelsea centre back Marc Guehi is being heavily linked with a move to Palace for £15-£20 million. This deal makes lots of sense as the young defender is a comfortable ball playing centre back who has gained lots of experience in the Championship with Swansea under Steve Cooper where he made a total of 52 appearances and became a mainstay for the promotion chasing team. He would be both a superb short term and long term option for the Eagles.

Another young English defender who Palace could target could be Fulham man Tosin Adarabioyo who was very impressive in a declining Fulham squad last season alongside Joachim Anderson. He is also supposedly available for £10 million pounds which makes the transfer all the more probable. Tosin is a great mix between a ball playing defender and an old school defender who learned his trade at Manchester City before moving to the London club in 2020.This should be a good advantage going into a Vieria team as central defenders need to be very comfortable under possession and Tosin has this in his locker as we saw when he played under Scott Parker last season in the Premier league at Craven Cottage.

Lastly another centre back Palace could target could be Kristoffer Ajer who is currently a wanted man by various other clubs.Although only 23 he would bring valuable leadership qualities to this side and replace some of the qualities left by Gary Shaving made 23 appearances for Norway Ajer has the suitable experience to make the transition to the Premier league and therefore could be a great bit of business.This deal may be tough to complete though as he is currently being heavily linked with a move to newly promoted Brentford in a record breaking deal worth up to £13.5 million pounds so Palace would have to move quickly if they are to secure this outstanding Celtic talent.

Moving to the full back positions where after Nathaniel Clyne left Palace ,they urgently need to find a replacement and where better to find one than in a free agent.In this case we are talking about ex Napoli right back Elseid Hysaj who has been with the Neapolitan club since 2015/16 and was a very successful if unspectacular player over the years for the club.He would be a real coup for Palace as he would bring some top level experience as he has made 16 appearances in the Champions League to date and was a mainstay in the Scudetto chasing Napoli team under Mauricio Sarri in 2017/18.The fact that there is no fee and he is only 27 makes the transfer for the Albanian even better and he would be a sure starter under Vieria and an upgrade on Joel Ward.

A last suggestion for this extensive defensive rebuild could be out of favour Arsenal man Ainsley Maitland Niles. The versatile defender/midfielder would supposedly be available for either a loan or a cut price fee as he is no longer in Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta plans.Palace should take advantage of this as Niles would bring a versatility and big game experience to the London club as we saw when he was loaned to West Brom for the latter end of last season where he was seen as a success and a leader in a dressing room that lacked them.The 23 year old is very mature for his age and can provide cover in either central midfield or in both full back positions so would be an asset to any side.His quick style of play and mobility would be highly favored by Palace boss Vieria as he likes his full backs to be pushed high as seen by Youssef Atal at Nice and Niles certainly has the skill set to achieve this as we have seen with Arsenal on there way to lifting the Fa Cup in 2019/20 where Niles was very important to the club.


Crystal Palace may need cover in midfield for the forthcoming season and where better to start that Chelsea man Connor Gallagher who will no doubt be available for a loan.The England under 21 international was the baggies standout player last season where his all action performances in the centre of midfield got the approval of fans and pundits alike.Gallagher can play a range of midfield options and after making 30 appearances in the premier league last season he has proven himself to be capable of performances at the top level.Palace should move quick about this one because Newcastle are also very interested on taking this man on loan next season.

A player who may not be very familiar to fans of the premier league is Lewis Ferguson. He is another all action midfielder who has the skill set to make it at the top level.Currently plying his trade with Scotland club Aberdeen he has been very impressive in the Scottish premiership which has gained the interest of last season's Scottish premiership winners Rangers as well as newly promoted Premier league side Watford. This is no surprise as he has a wide skill set as well as impressive technical prowess which would make his a very good squad player if not starting week in week out for the baggies.Ferguson has also reportedly handed in a transfer request which makes it all the more likely he will be available this summer and for a cheaper price to alternative targets such as Sander Berge of Sheffield United.

Wide players/Forwards:

After the brilliant acquisition of Reading man Michael Olise for a reported £9 million Palace may still need to invest in another wide attacking player.

Another loan option could be that of Ademola Lookman who was a standout performer for relegated Fulham last term.The RB Leipzig winger has the ability to skip past players with ease and on his day is unplayable as seen by some superb performances last season for Scott Parker's side. He would bring real pace and skill to this Palace side that they currently need with star midfielder Eze out for the start of the season with injury.If Lookman is not an option then Palace should not look further than London and Arsenal man Reiss Nelson who is another pacy wide man but is not getting the necessary playing time under Mikel Arteta to take the next step in his early career,so to make this step needs a move elsewhere.

A man supposedly on Patrick Vieria’s shopping list is Celtic man Ryan Christie who is now too good for Celtic and the Scottish premiership.Christie would be a real coup as he puts up superb goal and assist numbers on a consistent basis and has shown his quality with the Scottish national team.His versatility would also be a great asset to any team as he can play on both wings or as a no.10.If Vieria is serious about this transfer he needs to make it known as the 26 year old is also being linked with Monaco and Leicester. Therefore if Palace cannot make it happen a move for Chelsea man Ruben Loftus Cheek should do the job as he has probably had his best ever season with Palace when he was loaned out to Selhurst Park back in 2017/18 and subsequently got selected for the England World Cup team.To get Loftus Cheek performing again though he will need his confidence reinstated by manager Vieria so this transfer may be a risk.

As we can see this 2021/22 season under new manager Patrcik Vieria will be a season of change.It will be interesting to see what owner Steve Parish does and who he decides to invest in but investment is definitely needed to sustain this club at premier league level.Although we are talking about player recruitment it is also vital to Palace that they keep star man Wilfred Zaha who has been Palace’s top performer for years so it may be a worry to fans that there star player is being linked with a move to numerous European clubs. Commence the last few weeks of the transfer window.

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