Crystal Palace are reportedly interested in signing Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar this summer, and the Frenchman could be Patrick Vieira’s own version of Manchester City star Bernardo Silva at Selhurst Park.
The France international’s contract at the Groupama Stadium is set to expire at the end of this season and Palace could be the team to benefit by securing a bargain deal for a midfielder who was regarded as one of the hottest talents in European football only a few years ago.
Although his form has dropped slightly in recent years, Aouar was still impressive for Lyon last season, contributing six goals and four assists in 36 Ligue 1 appearances and averaging a solid 6.93 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
Only Wilfried Zaha and Conor Gallagher were rated higher from last season’s Palace squad, which suggests that Aouar could add some real quality in midfield, especially with the England international unlikely to return from parent club Chelsea.
According to FBRef, the most similar midfielder to Aouar in terms of playing style is Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva.
Last season saw the duo register very similar numbers in terms of expected assists (5.1 vs 5.2), goals per 90 minutes (0.22 vs 0.25) and tackles won (both 33).
This shows that they both contribute effectively in attack and defence, and considering that Silva was starring for the Premier League champions, Palace would surely be foolish to turn down a player with similar qualities.
Pep Guardiola labelled the Portugal international as “the best” last season, and City reportedly want €100m (£84.8m) if they are to sell him this summer, so the prospect of signing Aouar for £13m must be a mouth-watering prospect for Palace fans.
Guardiola even praised Aouar in 2018 following a Champions League clash against Lyon, saying: “Houssem Aouar is a very good player. He is incredible.”
Considering the 51-year-old’s decorated history as a manager, Palace should surely take his words into account and do all that they can to bring Aouar to Selhurst Park this summer.