Speaking on the HLTCO podcast, presenter Dan Cook has revealed that Crystal Palace intend to ‘bolster’ their midfield ranks this summer with the possibility of adding two new names.
With West Ham United swooping in with a deal to land Swansea City midfielder Flynn Downes and Joe Aribo closing in on a move to Southampton, it is back to the drawing board for Dougie Freedman and his recruitment team at Selhurst Park.
The initial £18m deal to bring Lens midfielder Cheick Doucoure to the club looks set in stone, but with Conor Gallagher heading back to Chelsea after an impressive campaign in SE25 last year and the uncertainty surrounding Cheikhou Kouyate’s Palace future following the expiry of his contract, Patrick Vieira will need reinforcements in the engine room.
Now, Cook has shed light on the situation at the club, revealing that he has been told the centre of the pitch is where the French manager was looking to address this window.
He said: “There is a real desire from everyone behind the scenes at Selhurst Park to really bolster our midfield options.
“I was told that Patrick Vieira wanted at least one extra midfielder going into this summer. He has lost two in the shape of Conor Gallagher and Cheikhou Kouyate, so you would assume, alongside Cheick Doucoure, we will be looking to bring two more in, and it’s going to certainly be interesting to see exactly who those individuals will end up being.”
TIF Thoughts on Crystal Palace in midfield…
With club captain Luka Milivojevic out of favour and unfancied by Vieira last term, as well as James McCarthur’s continuous fitness problems and the fact that he will turn 35 this October, the Eagles are in desperate need of strengthening in the engine room.
Jairo Riedewald and Will Hughes are options, but with Gallagher and Kouyate being Vieira’s go-to duo in midfield last season, you would expect at least another face to come through the doors alongside Doucoure.
90min has reported that the club are leading the race to sign Wolves starlet Morgan Gibbs-White, who shone last season on loan at Sheffield United in the Championship.
The U17 World Cup winner could yet bring the dynamism to the midfield that Gallagher displayed in south London after 12 goals and 10 assists for the Blades, but with competition from Everton, the club will surely be hoping this one doesn’t slip through their grasp.