Why Crystal Palace would be better off avoiding Ezequiel Schelotto
According to Corriere Adriatico (h/t Brighton and Hove Independent), Crystal Palace has been linked with a move for Ezequiel Schelotto. The former Brighton man is currently a free agent after being released by the club in August, last year. US Sambenedettese are also said to be holding an interest in the defender.
Palace don’t need another right-back
Crystal Palace are yet to bring in a replacement for former academy graduate Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Roy Hodgson utilised Joel Ward as a regular starter at right-back last season, starting 27 times in the PL, with Martin Kelly playing the role of an understudy.
Ward had a brief injury lay-off last term and Roy Hodgson might once again find himself short of cover should a similar situation arise later on in the campaign.
However, the Eagles signed Nathaniel Clyne to add to their depth in the position. So far, the former Liverpool defender has settled in well at the club and they look well set in that department.
Ezequiel Schelotto is past his prime
Ezequiel Schelotto is not the kind of player they should be looking at. The 1-cap Italian international has loads of experience in the Serie A but the fact that he failed to make a positive impression in the Premier League at Brighton means that it would be a big gamble for Palace to offer him a return to England.
Indeed, Schelotto’s availability as a free-agent mitigates the risk factor to a large extent. But at 31, the right-back’s best years seem to be behind him. Moreover, he doesn’t really fit the bill as an upgrade on either Clyne, Kelly or Ward, meaning that Schelotto would find it quite difficult to challenge for a regular starting role at Selhurst Park.
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With Clyne, Kelly and Ward hovering around the age of 30, Crystal Palace ideally need to look for a young and energetic full-back with a lot of potential as a part of their long-term plans moving forward.
Ezequiel Schelotto doesn’t fit the bill in that regard and the Eagles should explore other avenues if they are genuinely looking for reinforcements in that department.