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Crystal Palace must avoid signing Timi Sobowale in January

According to The Daily Mail, Crystal Palace are one of several clubs chasing Manchester City prospect Timi Sobowale.

What’s the word?

It’s claimed that Sobowale finds himself on Roy Hodgson’s radar but Palace face stiff competition from Championship clubs Millwall, Stoke City and Blackburn Rovers.

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The 18-year-old has seen his progress limited under Pep Guardiola, as he is still yet to feature for the first team, having made just one appearance across all competitions for the development team this season, via Transfermarkt.

He has also held talks with Major League Soccer side Real Salt Lake over a possible move in the January transfer window.

Must avoid at all costs

Hodgson could face an exodus of defenders as Palace have several senior players whose contracts are set to expire at the end of this season.

Mamadou Sakho faces an uncertain future at Selhurst Park, which has led to calls from Football FanCast to cut ties with him completely, while Gary Cahill’s recent injury struggles have been well-documented.

Nathan Ferguson, who can also play in this position, is yet to make his Palace debut since his arrival from West Brom in the summer after he suffered another injury setback, which has cast doubts about his long-term future at the club.

It’s believed Sobowale has held initial discussions with the MLS side and could be heading for the Etihad exit door to get some game time.

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How much did Palace pay Liverpool for Christian Benteke in 2016?

Will he get that at Selhurst Park? Probably not. Thrusting a vastly inexperienced defender who is unproven in the Premier League straight into the limelight seems like a daft idea.

There must be a reason why Sobowale has barely played at all this season, whilst the last thing Palace need is another Zeki Fryers, as the former Manchester United academy graduate failed to make the grade. Nine appearances for £3.4m is frankly appalling.

In Gary Cahill and Scott Dann, Palace have two experienced centre-backs who should be able to tide them over until at least the end of the season. The veterans are both of a similar age and the similarities don’t stop there, either, with both producing a high volume of clearances per game, with Cahill slightly ahead of his teammate in terms of the numbers with 4.4 and 4.3 respectively, via WhoScored.

Simply put, there surely have to be better options out there, perhaps none more so than Reading captain Liam Moore. Given his age, he’d fit the bill perfectly for Hodgson’s side more than an unproven youngster.

AND in other news, Crystal Palace can end four-year nightmare with swoop for Newcastle striker Dwight Gayle

Article title: Crystal Palace must avoid signing Timi Sobowale in January

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