Crystal Palace have been linked with a move for Burnley midfielder Robbie Brady on a free transfer ahead of the summer window.
What’s the story?
According to The Mirror‘s John Cross, the 29-year-old is wanted by several clubs, with his contract at Turf Moor set to expire over the coming months.
The report claims that Watford, Southampton and Scottish giants Celtic are set to rival the Eagles for Brady’s signature.
Parish must avoid
Palace have been left in a state of limbo following the departure of Roy Hodgson, who brought a sense of stability to the south London outfit during his four-year stint at the club.
Although the former England boss did a commendable job with the Eagles, recording finishes of 11th, 12th, 14th and 14th, he’s arguably left the first team squad in a rather poor state.
With 14 players coming to the end of their current deals at Selhurst Park, Wilfried Zaha continuously being linked with a move away from his boyhood club and serious injuries to youngsters Eberechi Eze and Nathan Ferguson, the task facing Hodgson’s successor is a daunting one.
The Eagles had the oldest squad in the Premier League last season, and it’s a major issue which needs addressing in the transfer market over the summer by chairman Steve Parish.
Many of the Palace players set to become free agents are either in their 30s or fast approaching that landmark, and the arrivals of Eze (22) and Jean-Philippe Mateta (23) appeared to indicate that Parish was beginning to address that particular issue.
However, bringing in Brady would completely go against that philosophy. Although the Republic of Ireland international is a useful asset to have for a mid-table top-flight team, his injury issues and age (29) make him an inappropriate target for Palace at this moment in time.
In five seasons at Burnley, the versatile winger never made more than 19 league appearances in a single campaign for Sean Dyche’s men.
With left-back Patrick van Aanholt set to depart Palace and winger Andros Townsend potentially following suit, the arrival of Brady as their potential replacement would make little sense, and Parish must avoid the temptation to find a quick, short-term solution to Palace’s extensive issues.