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Crystal Palace can land big upgrade in Ola Aina

Crystal Palace are close to wrapping up a deal that would see former Chelsea and Fulham man Ola Aina return to the Premier League.

That is according to Torino Granata who claim that Torino want to capitalise on the Nigerian international’s sale with his contract expiring next summer.

Crystal Palace are in pole to close the deal with the starting point being between €10m-€12m (£8.4m-£10m).

Should Palace sign Ola Aina?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Fellow Premier League outfit Leeds United came close to a deal for the 25-year-old in January, though Torino quickly changed their minds when Aina’s replacement suffered an ACL injury that ended his season prematurely.

An upgrade at full-back

The potential £10m signing of Aina would be a big coup for Palace as it allows Vieira to set his side up differently.

Current starting left-back Tyrick Mitchell brings defensive stability to his side, with his average of 3.28 tackles placing him in the elite category, against positionally similar players in Europe’s top five leagues over the last 365 days, with 2.32 of these tackles coming in the defensive third.

Joel Ward, a full-back option who has started the last two games after Mitchell sustained a knock, brings more stability in possession with his match average 7.21 passes under pressure proving solid.

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Though, despite being the ninth highest scorers in the league this season with 45 goals, they miss an outright attack-minded full-back who can make use of the wide areas in possession.

With his average of 1.98 shot-creating actions per game, the Nigerian brings direct threat to the table that Ward or Mitchell cannot match.

His match average of 0.68 carries into the penalty area again pips Ward’s 0.03 match average.

Described by Michael Oti Adjei as “unreal”, Aina’s presence at left-back will enable Vieira to use asymmetrical full-back positioning, in which the most defensive full-back joins the two centre-backs to make a three-man defence, whilst the attacking full-back has licence to create in possession.

Aina will offer this option with his more direct approach and serves as an upgrade on Ward, who could find himself struggling for game-time with this acquisition.

In other news: Vieira can land Kouyate upgrade in CPFC deal for £15m gem who’s “destroying everyone”…

Article title: Crystal Palace can land big upgrade in Ola Aina

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