Crystal Palace are interested in signing Liverpool’s Naby Keita this summer after the midfielder has endured another difficult campaign at Anfield.
What’s the talk?
The south London outfit have enquired about bringing the Guinea international to Selhurst Park ahead of the upcoming transfer window.
That’s according to Sega Diallo, who disclosed on Twitter how the Eagles are one of three clubs reportedly monitoring Keita’s situation with the former Premier League champions.
It’s set to be a turbulent few months at Palace. With Roy Hodgson’s imminent exit confirmed, and 17 first-team players out of contract over the summer, the capital club could have a totally different look and feel to them next season.
The central midfield area is certainly a problem position for Palace and will need addressing by Hodgson’s successor.
James McCarthy and James McArthur are among the players currently set to become free agents, while Cheikhou Kouyate has been deployed at centre-back for most of the current campaign, meaning only 30-year-old Luka Milivojevic will be left to man the engine room.
While the Serbia international has been a fantastic servant to Palace over the last few years, his recent decline has been obvious, as his lowly 6.55 WhoScored rating shows.
Fresh legs in the middle of the park are, therefore, a necessity for whoever takes the charge of the Eagles in 2021/22, and Keita could be the ideal solution.
Although things haven’t worked out the way he would’ve wanted at Liverpool, the £34.2m-rated (as per Transfermarkt) maestro is still undoubtedly an extremely talented football on his day.
Following a good room of form at the back end of last season, Virgil van Dijk showered the former RB Leipzig man in praise, illustrating just how good the 26-year-old can be when fit.
“Naby is a fantastic guy, he works so hard, and he is an outstanding football player. We see it week in and week out. He has unfortunately been unlucky with some injuries, but hopefully, he can stay fully fit for the next season,” said Van Dijk in an interview with Liverpoolfc.com.
“I think he is world-class; if I’m absolutely honest. I see all the moments when he has the ball, the smart moves, the smart intelligence. It’s just incredible to see, and I’m very happy for him.”
It’s consequently a transfer that Palace just simply can’t afford to miss out on. Keita could elevate the club to new levels under their new boss, and he would be the perfect present for Hodgson’s successor.