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8 goals, 8 assists – Crystal Palace’s top-ten hopes would be solidified if they sign this 25-year-old creative ace

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Crystal Palace Opinion: Eagles should sign Benjamin Bourigeaud next summer

Crystal Palace have endured an up and down campaign in the Premier League this season.

They struggled to score goals consistently at the start of the season and it looked as if the Eagles were set to face a long and hard fight for relegation but Roy Hodgson has once again proved what a wonderful manager he can be for any mid-table side in the Premier League.

It is largely due to the 71-year-old’s understanding of the game and managerial acumen that Palace currently find themselves 14th in the standings, five points clear of the relegation zone and set for a respectable mid-table finish.

Lack of creativity has been one of the major talking points at Selhurst Park this season, with the lack of a proper creative midfielder leaving the likes of Wilfred Zaha and Andros Townsend to cut isolated and frustrated figures up front.

The acquisition of the talented Max Meyer as a free-agent last summer was seen as a massive coup but the German has struggled to cope with the physical nature of the Premier League.

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James McArthur has been a standout figure for the Eagles, with the veteran providing much of the creativity with his tireless work-rate.

Cheikhou Kouyate, Luka Milivojevic and Jeffrey Schlupp have all thrived in Palace’s midfield three but they still need to bring in a dynamic midfielder who can bring in a bit more creativity to the team.

To put things into perspective, Crystal Palace need to look no further beyond Rennes ace Benjamin Bourigeaud to solve their lack of creativity in the midfield.

The 25-year-old Frenchman has been a standout performer for Rennes in Ligue 1 and has helped his team to a position of strength in the top half.

Bourigeaud’s thunderous strike in the 3-1 Europa League victory over Arsenal wasn’t a fluke either, with the Frenchman delivering the goods consistently since his move to Rennes from Lens at the start of the previous season.

Deemed as a versatile midfielder, Bourigeaud has played in virtually every position in the midfield and has contributed with 8 goals and 8 assists from 40 appearances across all competitions.

He started off as a central midfielder last season but he has played right-midfield, left-midfield, defensive midfield and also as a central attacking midfielder behind the striker this season.

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The Frenchman has a good technique which allows him to run comfortably with the ball at his feet. He is also adept at retaining possession and holding onto to the ball, linking up with his teammates and keeping things ticking in the middle of the park with his impressive range of passing.

The 25-year-old excels with his ability to cut out attacks with crucial tackles and interceptions, whilst his deliveries from crosses and set-pieces are also of the highest quality. Bourigeaud gets the right dip, swirl and elevation on his crosses and is never afraid to put his foot through the ball.

Bourigeaud’s creativity and vision coupled with his well-rounded attacking and defensive qualities should make him a perfect fit for Crystal Palace. Moreover, he has the ability to play in multiple positions, which should be an added bonus for Hodgson’s preferred 4-3-3 system.

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Palace need to bolster their squad with some quality players next summer to challenge for top-ten finish and Benjamin Bourigeaud should definitely be an ideal choice for the Eagles.

Crystal Palace

Time for goodbye? Crystal Palace’s talismanic speedster should leave the club to reach new heights

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Crystal Palace opinion: Zaha should leave the Eagles to reach next level

According to a recent report by the Daily Mail, Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha has already informed his representatives within the club about his plans to move on to join a club that regularly competes in the Champions League.

It has been reported that Zaha also met up with club chairman Steve Parish in the week after the league season drew to a close. 

Whether or not he’s already informed the chairman of his intentions next term is a question that is yet to be answered, it seems to quite explicit that he desired to step up to the next level of the footballing pedestal next season.

It’s a certainty that multiple top European clubs will be more than keen on the Ivorian’s signature.

His exploits for Palace this season certainly haven’t gone unnoticed and the fact that he stepped up and even performed the role of striker satisfactorily will be an added boost.

The stuttering Palace forwards meant that Zaha was promoted to playing striker in the early months of the season and he delivered the goods consistently. 

His figures for Palace has been an absolute dream and an aspiring team such as themselves have him go thank for the position they’re in.

While there are bound to be some changes at Selhurst Park this summer, replacing Zaha will be the most challenging task as he has been their sole creative outlet for a while now.

Having played in 34 league games this season, most of which he started, the Ivorian winger managed to notch up a highly impressive 10 goals and 10 assists and has been far and away Palace’s most standout player of the season.

Alongside Andros Townsend, Zaha has scored some wonder-goals this season and his stock has definitely risen. 

He is often utilised by on the right-flank of his attack line by Roy Hodgson but as we’ve seen in this campaign and over the past couple of seasons, Zaha’s versatility allows him to operate anywhere across the midfield or front-line and his numbers as their talisman were quite commendable too. 

Finishing is one his strongest traits while he also dribbles the ball with immense precision.

Able to beat a man using a trick, Zaha’s creative thinking makes a massive threat in the final third, irrespective of whether he’s looking for the killer pass or to finish the move off. Since he’s usually dependable in front of goal, his conversion rate is fairly decent too. 

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He offers a wide array of skills and the fact that he’s a season Premier League professional would only make the deal sweeter for whoever signs him.

At 26, this summer will be the right time for him to pursue bigger things and with a number of clubs lining up moves, he could be in for the most exciting summer of his life.

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Brentford

Crystal Palace would do themselves a solid favour by signing this 23-year-old Championship powerhouse

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Crystal Palace Opinion: Why Ollie Watkins will be a top addition for Palace?

Back in July 2018, a report from the Evening Standard claimed Crystal Palace were interested in Brentford star Ollie Watkins. But the South London club didn’t firm up their interest and a transfer never happened.

Ollie Watkins, 23, joined Brentford from Exeter City in 2017, having starred in League Two, and he enjoyed a promising first season at Griffin Park. The forward also had a strong 2018/19 campaign, where he scored 10 goals and supplied six assists but couldn’t guide Brentford to the playoffs.

The 23-year-old has shown real potential in the Championship and it won’t be a great surprise if he leaves the Bees for the Premier League in the summer. With Brentford failing to qualify for the playoffs, Crystal Palace must take advantage of the situation and reignite their interest in Ollie Watkins.

A report from the Daily Star claims Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha is linked with a return to his former club Manchester United this summer. Zaha has had a fantastic season at Selhurst Park, supplying 10 goals and as many assists in the Premier League.

The Ivorian is the heartbeat of the Eagles and his potential departure will be a huge blow for Roy Hodgson’s side. Hodgson’s side have already struggled for goals this season and losing Zaha will be catastrophic, as getting a player with a limited budget that can replace the Ivory Coast international will be a stellar task.

Watkins could be the player that can come close to replacing Zaha at Selhurst Park. The 23-year-old, who is equally adept at playing on the left-wing and leading the attack, is one of Championship football’s young, promising and exciting prospects. He can help reduce the goalscoring burden off Christian Benteke and Andros Townsend’s shoulders, while also adding depth to the squad and increasing competition for places.

The former Exeter City prospect has decent pace and skill on the ball and is more than capable of outsmarting the opposition with his sharp turns and intelligent movement in the final third. He has shown in the Championship how destructive he can be with his pace and power down the flanks.

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Watkins has got the qualities to make the step up to the Premier League and become an asset for Palace for years to come. He is more than capable of turning games around with his ability to chip in with valuable goals and assists and at 23, has quite some room for development.

Verdict

Watkins has a bright future ahead of him and if Hodgson can pry him to South London this summer, it’ll represent a signing of massive significance for the Eagles.

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Crystal Palace

Man United would pull off a brilliant move by signing this highly-rated defensive duo starring for PL rivals – Agreed?

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Manchester United Opinion: Why United must sign the Crystal Palace duo?

According to a report from The Sun, Manchester United are lining up a £50million double swoop for Crystal Palace duo Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Patrick van Aanholt.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made it one of his priorities to strengthen his defence this summer after a miserable end to the 2018/19 campaign. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been linked with the Red Devils for some time now, while interest in Patrick van Aanholt might raise a few eyebrows.

Now that the summer transfer window is open, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should revamp his backline first with the signing of the Crystal Palace duo.

Antonio Valencia has left Old Trafford following the expiry of his contract, leaving United with Ashley Young and Diogo Dalot at right-back. Young came under immense criticism following his dismal performances since the turn of the year. He is at the wrong side of 30 and the 2019/20 season is likely to be his last one in United colours.

Diogo Dalot, signed by former United boss Jose Mourinho from FC Porto, had a decent debut season in the Premier League. The Portuguese full-back showed a lot of promise under Solskjaer, but the Norwegian tactician used him more in an advanced role on the right. That clearly tells Solskjaer still has reservations using Dalot at right-back, with the 20-year-old not yet defensively astute to play in that position.

That’s why a player like Wan-Bissaka will be perfect to succeed Young at right-back. He is regarded as one of the best full-backs in the Premier League having broken into the Palace first-team under Roy Hodgson this past campaign. For his impressive displays, he was awarded the Crystal Palace Player of the Year for 2018/19 season.

As far as Van Aanholt is concerned, the Dutchman also had a successful campaign with the Eagles. He scored three goals and bagged two assists in 36 league games, helping Hodgson’s team finish in 12th position. The 28-year-old is a high-flying left-back, renowned for his explosive pace, direct approach and crossing abilities.

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Aanholt is an experienced player and will bring a much-needed competition for Luke Shaw at left-back.

And whilst the Netherlands international’s attacking prowess has never really been in doubt, he has been suspect defensively at times. Nevertheless, he absolutely fits Solskjaer’s expansive, exciting style of play at United.

Verdict

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is desperate to rebuild his squad after ending a forgettable trophyless season. It’s why a double swoop for Wan-Bissaka and Van Aanholt makes a lot of sense, especially with the Red Devils’ defensive problems. 

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