Crystal Palace Opinion: Ollie Watkins and Neal Maupay could fire the Eagles to a top-ten finish in the Premier League next term
According to claims from Sutton and Croydon Guardian, Crystal Palace are plotting a sensational £30million double raid on Brentford for star duo Ollie Watkins and Neal Maupay in the summer transfer window.
Croydon Guardian understands that Palace want to bring the highly-rated duo to the Premier League this summer, although the Eagles would need to beat off competition from a number of clubs in their pursuit of the Bees pair.
Watkins was scouted heavily by north London giants Arsenal and Spurs last season, and while a dip in his form in the second half of the 2018-19 season quelled interest, the 23-year-old might get a chance to ply his trade in the Premier League next term, with Palace prepared to offer him a golden chance. (h/t Croydon Guardian)
Maupay, on the other hand, has established himself as one of the most prolific strikers in the Championship over the past couple of campaigns and the Frenchman is likely to be a man in demand this summer.
The 22-year-old former OGC Nice hitman has already caught the eye of several clubs, including Norwich City, Aston Villa and Sheffield United and a move to the top-flight seems very much on the cards for him this time around. (h/t Evening Standard)
Watkins enjoyed another fruitful season at Griffin Park and contributed with 10 goals and 6 assists in 41 Championship outings, as Brentford finished 11th in the standings and missed out on securing a playoff spot.
Maupay once again proved his worth as a lethal striker in the second-tier, bagging a staggering 28 goals and 8 assists in 49 appearances across all competitions.
A versatile attacking midfielder by trade, Ollie Watkins is capable of playing out wide on either flank as a winger or a wide-forward and also through the centre in a No.10 playmaking role behind the central striker.
The 23-year-old has been fielded as the leader of the line occasionally but he is at his best when deployed down the flanks, which allows him to bring his flair and trickery to cut inside.
The former Exeter City star is noted for his lightning pace, quick acceleration and dribbling, attributes which make him a perfect fit for any role in the attacking midfield region.
Blessed with plenty of drive and determination, Watkins combines his flamboyance with his youthful exuberance and explosive style of play to rip defences apart, whilst also possessing the creativity, vision and intelligence to come up with key passes in the final third.
Maupay is also capable of playing as an attacking midfielder in a No.10 role but he is more of a natural finisher who excels with poaching instincts in front of goal.
Blessed with good technical abilities on the ball, the Frenchman uses his pace and close control to run at the opposition, whilst also having the strength and the drive to hold off defenders.
To sum it up, both Ollie Watkins and Neal Maupay are immensely-talented and versatile attacking players, although the latter has a much better profile thanks to his experience in Ligue 1 and with France at the U-21 level.
While Maupay has certainly outgrown the Championship, Watkins has also shown strong signs of promise and both the players deserve a chance to prove their credentials in the Premier League.
To put things into perspective, the mooted £30 million double swoop for the Brentford duo could potentially transform Crystal Palace into a very strong mid-table outfit in the Premier League next season.
The Eagles beat the drop quite comfortably this past season and ensured Premier League football for yet another year but they need to bolster their squad with some exciting talent in a bid to challenge for better things in the top-flight.
Defensive midfielder Luka Milivojevic has been Palace’s top-scorer in the Premier League for the past couple of seasons, which is a clear indication of the fact that the strikers and the attacking midfielders just haven’t done enough.
Wilfred Zaha and Andros Townsend have tried their level best but they have lacked effective support from the likes of Christian Benteke and Connor Wickham, both of whom have struggled for form and fitness in recent years.
It is a no-brainer that Roy Hodgson needs to bring in some attacking talent this summer to turn the club’s fortunes around and raiding the Championship for two of the divisions most exciting players would certainly be a good choice.
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It is worth mentioning over here that both the players are still very young and Palace would have a good chance of recouping the money in the future if either, or both of them, fail to deliver the goods in the Premier League. That said, Crystal Palace should go all out in their pursuit of the highly-rated Brentford duo this summer irrespective of what the future holds for Zaha.