With Wilfried Zaha heavily linked with the Selhurst Park exit, Crystal Palace will need to find a replacement for the talisman at some point, and chairman Steve Parish can make amends in the January transfer window.
According to WalesOnline, Crystal Palace are among a number of Premier League, Championship and European clubs interested in securing a loan move for Rabbi Matondo from Schalke, who are currently rock-bottom of the Bundesliga.
Premier League rivals Brighton and Championship duo Bournemouth and Watford are also keen to land the diminutive 5 ft 7 speedster, whose contract is set to expire in 2023.
Matondo has been one of the few bright sparks in an otherwise dismal season for Schalke despite suffering an injury-disrupted campaign. He’s scored twice in 32 appearances for the Royal Blues, though it’s worth noting at least twelve of those have come off the bench.
He played 23 games for Manchester City’s U23s, scoring 11 goals and supplying five assists in all competitions, via Transfermarkt, before he left the academy for better opportunities in the Bundesliga.
In his sole appearance in the UEFA Nations League, the Wales international is averaging two shots, one key pass and four dribbles per game, via WhoScored.
It’s fair to say the youngster will have some big shoes to fill if Zaha departs Selhurst Park and Parish can get a deal over the line, that’s for sure.
Just like Zaha, Hodgson could transform the 20-year-old winger into an inside forward who can also play out wide. Don’t forget, he already has experience of playing as a second striker during his time at Cardiff City.
His national team manager Ryan Giggs has heaped praise on his young charge in the past, saying: “Just like Dan James he has electrifying pace. And that always keeps you interested.”
This isn’t just your average spectator from the stands, this is a Manchester United legend who is genuinely in awe of Matondo.
Valued at a mere £7m via Transfermarkt, Parish could land Palace an absolute bargain if he can beat their competition to his signature.
AND in other news, Crystal Palace must reignite their pursuit of Watford winger Ismaila Sarr…