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Crystal Palace could ditch Ward with Sacha Boey swoop

Crystal Palace have reportedly submitted a £14m bid for Galatasaray right-back Sacha Boey, and his potential arrival at Selhurst Park could allow Patrick Vieira to finally ditch club stalwart Joel Ward.

According to Turkish news outlet Star, the Eagles have acted upon their recent interest in the French defender and submitted a €16m (£14m) bid for Boey, who has caught the eye with his performances in the Super Lig since his move from Dijon in 2021.

The 22-year-old has enjoyed some superb form in the Super Lig so far this term, contributing two assists in 15 top-flight appearances and averaging a hugely impressive 7.28 rating from WhoScored for his performances.

For context, Eberechi Eze is currently ranked as the top performer in Vieira’s squad by WhoScored with a 6.94 average rating, which emphasises the quality that Boey could add at Selhurst Park.

Although he is playing in an undoubtedly weaker league, as per UEFA’s association club coefficient, the statistics also suggest that the “talented” Boey (as hailed by journalist Zach Lowy) would be a significant upgrade on Ward (6.51 WhoScored rating) in Vieira’s squad.

This season has seen the former Rennes talent average more tackles (3.3 vs 1.5), interceptions (1.7 vs 0.8) and key passes (1.1 vs 0.1) per game than the experienced Palace defender, which suggests that he would be a better option from both an attacking and a defensive perspective.

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The 33-year-old stalwart will be fondly remembered by the Selhurst Park for his performances over the years, having played 322 times for the club over the past decade, but it seems clear at this point that he is no longer good enough to be a regular starter in Vieira’s squad.

He certainly doesn’t offer enough going forward, as emphasised by his averages of 0.1 crosses, 0.1 key passes and 0.1 shots per game, so Palace must look to recruit a younger, more attack-minded full-back if they are to continue progressing in the Premier League.

Ward’s contract is set to expire at the end of the season and it seems likely that he will depart the Eagles at that point. However, if Vieira wants another positive season in south London, he must be ruthless and ensure that Palace bring in a replacement for the long-serving right-back this month.

Boey’s age, statistics and performances so far this term suggest that he would be an excellent replacement, and if signing him means that the Eagles no longer have to rely upon the ageing Ward in the Premier League, then it can only be a good addition by Vieira.