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Crystal Palace had a transfer howler on Joe Aribo

Crystal Palace enjoyed a promising Premier League campaign last season after Patrick Vieira was appointed in the summer of 2021, with several new players making their move to Selhurst Park to become part of the former Arsenal captain’s project.

One player who was a standout in Vieira’s new-look Palace team was Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher who completed a season-long loan deal with the Eagles last summer, although despite the club’s efforts to hold onto their golden boy returned to Stamford Bridge to stake his claim for a permanent spot in Chelsea’s starting line-up.

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There is no doubt that Palace miss the talented midfielder’s versatility and presence in the centre of the pitch with the England international producing eight goals and five assists last term. His exit has since reflected in the performances on the pitch, and led to Vieira’s side slipping into 17th in the Premier League table.

One of the most regrettable decisions the South London side may have made during the transfer window was not to replace Gallagher’s contributions in midfield, although they did show interest in one player who could’ve been the perfect fit for the position.

Joe Aribo was linked with a move to Selhurst Park throughout the summer, but instead completed a deal worth up to £10m to join Southampton instead, something that Palace should now regret considerably.

The former Rangers midfielder has made a fantastic first impression from his central role at St Mary’s over his first eight appearances this season so far.

Aribo has scored two goals and created one big chance, made 1.9 tackles and won 5.3 duels per game, as well as currently ranking sixth in the Premier League for pass interceptions in an opponent’s half, proving he has versatile attributes that would’ve been perfect in replacing Gallagher’s role at Crystal Palace.

Indeed, those numbers mean he is currently outperforming Gallagher this term who has scored just once, failed to create a big chance, made 1.7 tackles and won 3.2 duels a match.

The Nigerian ace was given a glowing assessment from new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, who said of his quality:

“We believe Joe can bring energy and creativity to our side. Feeling comfortable in so many different positions is very helpful for a manager and shows he has a high level of football intelligence, with the ability to take on new information quickly.”

Should Crystal Palace have signed Aribo?





Further dubbed a “special talent” by Jordan Campbell of The Athletic, it’s evident that Palace made somewhat of a mistake when it came to their decision making at times this summer.

Vieira will surely be disappointed that Palace were unable to complete a deal for Aribo, however, in the January transfer window, there is another opportunity for the manager to strengthen his midfield options ahead of the second half of the season.