Crystal Palace have been linked with a move for Torino midfielder Sasa Lukic as chairman Steve Parish plans a summer overhaul of the first team squad at Selhurst Park.
What’s the story?
According to Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, the Eagles are interested in acquiring the 24-year-old’s signature over the coming months but will have to see off competition from Russian outfit Spartak Moscow if they want to secure his services.
The reporter claims that Lukic is intrigued by the chance to play in the Premier League, which suggests that a move to Selhurst Park could be on the cards.
Parish must avoid
With James McCarthy set to become a free agent at the end of the month, signing a ready-made replacements for the Irish midfielder will be essential. Several names have been linked, such as Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher and Osasuna’s Jon Moncayola, but a new candidate in Lukic has now emerged.
The Serbia international made 34 appearances in all competitions for Torino last season as they finished in a rather disappointing 17th position. Twenty-four of those came from the off in Serie A as the combative midfielder bagged three goals and laid on one assist for his team-mates.
While Lukic’s output in 2020/21 was quite underwhelming, his underlying numbers paint a dismal picture.
The Partizan Belgrade academy graduate received a lowly WhoScored rating of just 6.48 after recording a passing accuracy of just 81%, the 17th lowest average compared to his teammates, and just 0.7 key passes per game, the seventh-lowest in the Torino squad.
Lukic didn’t make an outstanding contribution in a defensive sense either, managing just 0.5 interceptions per game, the joint-15th lowest tally, and one tackle per game, the joint-ninth lowest figure.
Therefore, it seems as though Parish is heading for a huge transfer mistake if he decides to pursue a deal for the £4.5m-rated Serbian.
Palace are entering an era of uncertainty following Hodgson’s departure, and signing players with Premier League experience, or a proven track record abroad, will likely be essential for the south London outfit’s success next season.
Now is not the time to be taking risks in the transfer market, no matter how cheaply they may be available, and Lukic seems like a gamble worth avoiding.