Crystal Palace are reportedly interested in Club Brugge’s Noah Mbamba this month and the versatile youngster could prove to be Patrick Vieira’s own version of Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany at Selhurst Park.
However, the report adds that Palace and Chelsea have ‘made efforts’ to sign Mbamba this month and would be willing to pay Brugge a transfer fee, which could see him opt for a move to the Premier League rather than the Bundesliga.
Any transfer fee for the teenager is likely to be a minimal one, as his contract at the Jan Breydel Stadium is set to expire at the end of the current campaign.
Mbamba might only be 18 but he already has experience playing in the Belgian top flight and the Champions League with Brugge, boasting 25 senior appearances in his career thus far.
The Belgium U19 international has featured as both a defensive midfielder and a centre-back in that time, so he could offer plenty of versatility at Selhurst Park should he join Vieira’s side this month.
Football talent scout Jacek Kulig clearly rates Mbamba highly, as he has done a full scout report on the youngster on his website, where he describes him as a similar player to Kompany.
The current Burnley manager would start his career in Belgium with Anderlecht, also as a defensive midfielder and a centre-back before moving to Hamburg and later Manchester City, where he would go on to establish himself as a club legend, making 360 appearances for the Citizens.
He will be fondly remembered by City fans for his role in their transformation, as he helped the Etihad outfit to four Premier League titles, two FA Cup wins and four League Cup wins during his spell with the club.
Amongst other things, Kulig describes Mbamba as a complete, elegant and dominant centre-back, which certainly bodes well for his potential in the game.
If he can become even half of the player that Kompany was, he would surely be a worthwhile signing for Eagles CEO Steve Parish to sign off on during this month’s transfer window.