Crystal Palace close to signing Joachim Andersen
According to a report by the Daily Mail, Crystal Palace are close to agreeing on a transfer move for Olympique Lyon centre-back, Joachim Andersen. The move could cost them up to £23m as the 25-year-old looks set to sign a five-year-long deal at Selhurst Park.
Andersen isn’t alien to Premier League football. The Danish international was on loan at Fulham last season where he was a regular feature under former manager, Scott Parker. While he couldn’t save them from relegation, he is set to return to London with Crystal Palace edging closer to a deal. But is he the right player for their new manager, Patrick Vieira? We find out below.
Mass exodus of centre-backs at Crystal Palace
The Eagles let a number of experienced players leave this summer. Among the names were veteran centre-backs in Mamadou Sakho (31), Gary Cahill (35), and Scott Dann (34). Versatile Englishman Joel Ward and Dutch full-back Patrick van Aanholt were also among the casualties. And that left them really short of first-team defenders at the back.
As things stood without any new incomings, Palace had James Tomkins and Cheikhou Kouyate, who primarily played as in midfield before last season, as their two senior options at the back. Nathan Ferguson, 20, has no appearances for Palace’s senior team and cannot be considered ready for first-team football ready.
And as for Jaroslaw Jach, he looks like he is not in Palace’s plans. The 27-year-old Polish defender was signed three years ago from Zaglebie Lubin but since then, has just one appearance for the Londoners. He has been sent out to Poland, Moldova, Turkey, as well as the Netherlands on temporary spells during that time.
Tomkins and Kouyate will also both be 32 by the end of this year and are in the last year of their contracts that expire in 2022. In such a situation, Vieira needed to sign multiple centre-backs. He took the first step in signing Marc Guehi from Chelsea. The 21-year-old Englishman from Chelsea signed for a fee that could rise to £20m.
Andersen move suits Crystal Palace
But that was never going to be enough. Palace need centre-backs with experience at the top level and those that are not too old and not too young. As we saw above, they already have central defenders in both those extremities of age. Guehi does have experience with Swansea in the Championship but has never played in the Premier League.
In that regard, Palace’s interest in Andersen is wise. The 25-year-old Denmark international knows what it is like to play on the biggest of stages. He has ample experience of playing in the top divisions of England, the Netherlands, Italy, as well as France, and was with the Danish national team at the 2020 UEFA Euro.
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At 25, he is at an age where he has tons of experience with enough room ahead of him to get better and become a more refined player at Selhurst Park. This is a move that Palace have to ensure gets across the line because if they want to perform well in the Premier League, strength and depth in defence is something they can’t compromise on.