It’s not very often we say this, but Steve Parish has a rare chance to give Crystal Palace their dream attack for years to come, if recent reports are to be believed.
It’s claimed that Diaz has refused to leave the Santiago Bernabeu for the past two seasons despite being considered surplus to requirements by Zinedine Zidane.
However, he could be offered a way out of Madrid in the not too distant future, with several clubs from across Europe vying for his signature.
Palace will face stiff competition from Premier League rivals Everton and West Ham, as well as French Ligue 1 side Lyon for his services.
Wilfried Zaha is the club’s top scorer in all competitions so far this season, but Hodgson still needs a prolific striker who can shoulder the burden of scoring goals, as Michy Batshuayi has been unable to hit the ground running at Selhurst Park. Diaz is a player who can do precisely just that.
The 27-year-old burst onto the scene at Lyon, where he scored 21 goals and supplied 6 assists in all competitions, before he returned to the Spanish capital in 2018.
Whilst Batshuayi is also right-footed and plays on the right, Diaz, who is the same age as the Belgium international, is a natural goal threat all over the pitch who seems to have no problems at all finding the back of the net.
In just 42 minutes in La Liga last season, he scored one goal, whilst he averaged 1.2 shots per game, via WhoScored. By comparison, Batshuayi has failed to score in the Premier League so far this season, despite the fact he is averaging one shot per game, as per WhoScored.
Meanwhile Zaha has managed 2.3 shots and 1.6 key passes per game in the top flight this term, outscoring the Belgian striker by five goals so far.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas once lauded Diaz as a “powerful” finisher, saying “in the opinion of Zinedine and Karim, he is a player of a very high level. He’s young, powerful and very ambitious. It would be a great coup for Lyon to sign him, and there would not be too much expected of him.”
A strong counter-attacking threat who likes to play short passes and shoot from distance, he could be the final piece of the puzzle to complete Palace’s attack for the years to come, especially when you consider the fact that he would be able to combine with summer signing Eberechi Eze at almost free will, which would give the Eagles another attacking option, as they have often been accused of being too one-dimensional in recent seasons.
However, Sport suggest the outcast won’t come cheap, as Real are refusing to sell him for anything less than their original £25m valuation, whilst he reportedly receives wages worth £142,000-per-week. Whether or not Parish will dip into his pockets remains to be seen.
AND in other news, Bye Benteke: Parish must sign Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud for Crystal Palace…