Crystal Palace haven’t had the best start to the 2022/23 Premier League campaign, currently sitting 15th in the table, and a disappointing summer transfer window could be to blame for their slow start as a new update has emerged from a reliable source.
According to The Athletic’s Palace reporter Matt Woosnam, the Eagles missed out on a number of transfer targets on whom they were keen this summer – including Djibril Sow, who the club tried to sign in a last-minute Deadline Day deal.
In an article written by Woosnam for The Athletic, he claims that Palace made contact with the 25-year-old in the final hours of the transfer window but were unsuccessful in their pursuit of the player.
There is no doubt that Conor Gallagher wasn’t going to be an easy player to replace this summer, having won the club’s Player of the Year award for 2021/22, but finding the Chelsea youngster’s replacement in the number eight position in midfield was something that Patrick Vieira was clearly keen to address.
Sow became a late target for Palace on Deadline Day after Eintracht Frankfurt received a bid from Nottingham Forest earlier in the transfer window, but he refused the move in order to focus on his football in Germany after winning the Europa League last season with his current club.
The Swiss midfielder could’ve been the perfect Gallagher replacement in the centre of the pitch for Vieira, as he has a number of attributes which make him the right profile of player to enhance the midfield at Selhurst Park.
According to FBref, the €20m (£17.2m)-valued midfielder has Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz and Liverpool’s Fabinho named as two of the most comparable players to him; and in terms of his similarities with Gallagher, it’s not hard to see why Palace were keen on the 25-year-old.
Over last season, the duo recorded excellent pass completion rates (85.1% v 76.1%), attempted the same number of tackles (69) and came close in their pressure success rates (31.4% v 28.3%), while Sow narrowly outperformed Gallagher for dribbles completed (70% v 63.4%).
Although Sow displays many of his abilities in defensive play, he is clearly capable of offering an attacking threat too. In 2021/22, he registered two goals and six assists in all competitions, including an important assist for the winning goal against West Ham United in the first leg of the Europa League semi-finals which eventually sent them through to the final after a 1-0 win in the second leg.
It’s a shame that the powerbrokers at Selhurst Park couldn’t get a deal done in their late attempt, but there are already reports that Palace will go back in for the midfielder in January, so not all hope is lost for the Eagles in terms of strengthening the engine room in their squad.