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Crystal Palace: Ouattara could replace Zaha

Crystal Palace have been linked with Lorient winger Dango Ouattara recently and the 20-year-old could be the ideal man to replace Wilfried Zaha at Selhurst Park.

According to 90min, a number of Premier League clubs including Palace, Everton, Bournemouth, Leicester City and Southampton have all held talks with Lorient over a potential deal for the young winger, who is catching the eye with his performance in Ligue 1 this season.

Indeed, reports have suggested that the Foxes have already submitted an £18m bid for his services, so Palace may have to act quickly if they want to bring him in.

Lorient have enjoyed a fine start to the campaign and currently occupy sixth place in the French top flight but they could be about to suffer from their own success, as a number of their top talents are being linked with moves away this month.

Ouattara has been one of the star performers in Regis Le Bris’ side so far this season, notching six goals and five assists in 17 Ligue 1 appearances, with WhoScored awarding him a superb 7.48 average rating.

Of those to start at least five games, this ranks him as the top performer at the Stade du Moustoir, which is extremely impressive given that he only really broke into the first team last season.

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The youngster’s goal involvements so far this campaign puts him in the same conversation as “elite” talents such as Erling Haaland, Lionel Messi, Neymar and Robert Lewandowski, so it is easy to see why he is attracting so much interest.

Considering Eberechi Eze is ranked as the top performer at Selhurst Park so far this term with a 6.94 average rating, it is also clear the quality that Ouattara could add to Patrick Vieira‘s squad should he join the Eagles this month.

As a winger, the Burkina Faso international could arrive as a natural replacement for Zaha, who looks almost guaranteed to end his stay at Selhurst Park when his contract expires in the summer.

The former Manchester United man’s record of 89 goals and 76 assists in a Palace shirt will almost certainly see him recognised as a legend at the south London club but Vieira must ensure that he is replaced adequately and Ouattara’s performances this season certainly suggest that he could add goals at Selhurst Park.

WhoScored also suggests that Ouattara excels at long shots, while he loves to dribble and cut inside, all of which suggest he could be the ideal man to fill Zaha’s boots at Palace.