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Aouar could be Crystal Palace’s ideal Gallagher heir

Crystal Palace are interested in signing Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar this summer, and he could be the ideal man to replace Conor Gallagher in Patrick Vieira’s side.

Both Palace and Nottingham Forest have reportedly been keen on signing the 24-year-old, who is reportedly available for just £13m, as the Ligue 1 side look to sell him before his contract expires at the end of this season.

Vieira will be looking to sign a replacement for Gallagher in midfield after the Chelsea loanee inspired the Eagles to a top-half finish last season, finishing as their top performer across the campaign according to WhoScored.

The England international would also finish as their top scorer behind Wilfried Zaha, with eight league strikes and his goals from midfield will be missed this season, as Vieira is yet to sign an attacking replacement for the 22-year-old.

Aouar could be the ideal solution, as he has contributed an impressive 40 goals and 35 assists during his time with Lyon. Last season saw the former France international manage eight goals and four assists in all competitions, which was very similar to Gallagher’s numbers in the Premier League (eight goals, three assists).

Could Aouar be a good Gallagher heir?

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The Frenchman was extremely highly rated a few years ago, with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola singing his praises following a Champions League tie against Lyon.

He said: “Houssem Aouar is a very good player. He is incredible.

“We talk a lot about (Tanguy) Ndombele, but Aouar is also excellent. He’s always very calm with the ball at his feet, with an excellent technical quality.”

While Aouar hasn’t quite lived up to his huge potential, he is still only 24 and could definitely develop into a top midfielder with regular game time at Selhurst Park.

FB Ref suggests that both Gallagher and Aouar score above the 90th percentile for expected goals and assists, dribbles completed and touches in the attacking penalty area, which emphasises that he loves to get forward and contribute in attack.

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Vieira has overseen a youthful transformation at Palace but is still reliant on more experienced midfielders such as James McArthur (34) and Luke Milivojevic (31), so he could definitely use a younger midfielder such as Aouar in his squad.

Therefore, with Gallagher looking unlikely to return to Selhurst Park this summer unless Palace pay Chelsea’s reported £50m asking price, Vieira should look to bring in Aouar instead.

Article title: Aouar could be Crystal Palace’s ideal Gallagher heir

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