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Crystal Palace must reignite Koni de Winter interest after Andersen blow

Crystal Palace were linked with Juventus defender Koni de Winter ahead of the January transfer window, and Steve Parish should reignite that interest following the injury suffered by Joachim Andersen.

It was suggested by Tutto Juve in November that Palace, SouthamptonWest Ham, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach all asked for information about the 20-year-old with a view to bringing him in this month.

The young centre-back has been with Juventus since 2019 and has made just two appearances for the first-team in that time, with the majority of his game-time coming in the Old Lady’s various academy sides.

He joined Empoli on loan last summer but has been limited to just eight appearances for Gli Azzurri in the Italian top flight so far this term.

The Belgium U21 international did catch the eye in his two outings for Juventus’ first team, with Leanardo Bonucci and Pavel Nedved – who can be regarded as two of the Bianconeri’s best players so far this century – both full of praise for him after his debut against Malmo.

Nine-time Scudetto winner Bonucci said: “Koni had a good game, he played with personality; we had already seen him in London against Chelsea. He has no fear and this will be an advantage for his career.

“He must remain humble now, he has enormous room for improvement, he has a whole career ahead of him.”

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Nedved also dubbed the defender “really strong”, which suggests that the 20-year-old is highly regarded by those at the Allianz Stadium, despite his lack of game-time for Empoli so far this term.

It could already have been argued that Patrick Vieira needed to add a centre-back to his ranks in the January transfer window, even before Andersen picked up an injury in the recent defeat against Chelsea.

The Denmark international is expected to miss at least a month of action, which leaves just Chris Richards, Marc Guehi and the ageing James Tomkins available as senior options in the heart of the Eagles’ defence.

With Richards likely to partner Guehi for the time being, it would be good for Vieira to have another young centre-back to call upon should either of those two also suffer an injury.

Therefore, Parish should definitely consider a swoop for De Winter this month, so that the Belgian can fill a void in Vieira’s side and hopefully live up to his obvious potential at Selhurst Park.