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Crystal Palace sign 29-year-old star on a free transfer – A welcome move by Hodgson?

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - APRIL 27: Nathaniel Clyne of Bournemouth during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and AFC Bournemouth at St Mary's Stadium on April 27, 2019 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Why Crystal Palace signing free agent Nathaniel Clyne is a smart coup

According to the BBC, former Liverpool star Nathaniel Clyne has joined Crystal Palace on a free transfer. He was spotted training with the club over the last month and there was talk of Roy Hodgson handing him a temporary deal.

Apparently, the Crystal Palace boss has been impressed with him and the club have signed him on a deal that runs until January next year.

Profile

Nathaniel Clyne is a 29-year-old English defender, who is a free agent after Liverpool released him in July. It is interesting that he started his youth career at Crystal Palace back in 1999. He progressed through the youth teams and was promoted to the senior squad in 2008.

Nathaniel Clyne

Four seasons and 132 appearances followed with a goal and 7 assists. Southampton came for his services in 2012 and Clyne made the switch to the Saints. He went on to make over 100 appearances and scored 5 goals and provided 8 assists for the club. (h/t Transfermarkt).

Much like some of his Southampton colleagues, Clyne made the move to Liverpool in 2015. Clyne was first-choice in his first two seasons at the club. But from 2017, the emergence of a certain Trent Alexander-Arnold meant that Clyne had to look for chances elsewhere.

He moved to Bournemouth in 2018 but failed to get much game time. After his return in 2019, he suffered an injury that ruled him out for the entirety of last season. His contract wasn’t renewed by Liverpool and now he has been training at Crystal Palace to keep in shape. (h/t Evening Standard) The full-back also has 14 appearances for England.

Why Clyne is a smart coup for Palace

While Crystal Palace didn’t require a right-back on an immediate basis, Clyne’s addition is nonetheless a welcome one. They do have the likes of Martin Kelly, Joel Ward and Nathan Ferguson for the position.

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 13: Nathaniel Clyne of Crystal Palace battles with Gary McShefferey of Coventry during the npower Championship match between Crystal Palace and Coventry City at Selhurst Park on November 13, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Hence, it is very much possible that the former academy player is not going to get a lot of playing time. However, with Clyne, there is an added bit of competition for places. The full-back remains an experienced Premier League player and could prove to be a valuable dressing room presence.

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Being a free agent, Clyne isn’t a huge outlay on Palace’s part. He surely looks like a smart coup given the nature of the deal.

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