Crystal Palace have just enjoyed the most exciting transfer window in their recent history, but one target who got away may give new manager Patrick Vieira some sleepless nights as the season unfolds.
The Eagles have added the likes of Marc Guehi, Odsonne Edouard and Joachim Andersen to their ranks in recent weeks as they effectively overhauled their first-team squad.
However, they were also heavily linked with a €20 million (£17.1m) move for Sassuolo winger Jeremie Boga on Deadline Day before Vieira decided against the deal following Edouard’s arrival, according to Football.London.
“Football.London understands that deal is now unlikely with Palace’s spending complete after signing Edouard…Patrick Vieira seems to think his side have enough forward players to compete and score goals this season,” the report read.
Boga has cultivated a career full of promise and potential since leaving Chelsea for Sassuolo back in 2018. The former Rennes, Granada and Birmingham City loanee made a solid contribution during his maiden campaign in Serie A before backing it up with 11 goals and four assists in his second.
The tricky forward’s productivity dropped slightly throughout 2020/21, though, after he bagged four goals and provided two assists in 27 Serie A appearances, but his overall game was more impressive than the numbers suggest.
Boga completed 3.2 dribbles per game last season, far more than any of his Sassuolo teammates achieved and also successfully dribbled past 91 opponents, the third-highest number in the Italian top division.
With Palace set to be without their most prolific dribbler Eberechi Eze until the new year through injury, and with their fourth-most fruitful dribbler Andros Townsend joining Everton, the arrival of Boga would certainly have eased the blow of their absence.
Although Palace found the back of the net twice to salvage a 2-2 draw against West Ham United last time out, Conor Gallagher’s goals were the first strikes of Vieira’s four-match reign.
Therefore, despite Edouard’s arrival, the decision to turn down the opportunity to sign a proven goalscorer and creator such as Boga is a choice that Vieira may come to regret in the weeks and months ahead.
The lack of replacement for Townsend has left the south London outfit without a natural right-winger in the first-team squad, something which could prove to be problematic for the Eagles this season, possibly leaving the club’s supporters with some serious concerns.
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