Crystal Palace must target Porto star Hector Herrera in January as they attempt to restore some order and assurance to their midfield following the departures of both Yohan Cabaye and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
The Mexican international is set to become a free agent in the summer, as his contract is nearing its expiry date and his employers have not yet offered him a new deal to keep him in the Primeira Liga.
Palace are reportedly keeping tabs on the 28-year-old’s situation in Portugal (according to Record via Sports Witness), along with Arsenal and Tottenham, who are all looking to snatch the vastly experienced midfielder on the cheap.
Herrera is a player of huge pedigree, having starred at the World Cup as well as in the Champions League. He has three goals and an assist this season from a central-midfield role, including two in Europe against some of the best club sides around.
The absence of both Loftus-Cheek and Cabaye have been strikingly obvious this season, but the Frenchman’s has left a bigger hole in the Eagles’ midfield.
Max Meyer was bought in and has replaced the former Chelsea loanee’s impact in an attacking midfield role, but Cheikhou Kouyate was the only other arrival in midfield; the Senegalese international is a vastly different player to Cabaye.
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As a result, Roy Hodgson has been left with two physical, combative midfielders in the shape of Luka Milivojevic and Kouyate – the Serbian’s poor form at the start of the season showed he was missing the calming presence of Cabaye alongside him.
A move for Herrera would go some way to restoring that assuring presence alongside Milivojevic, and would help the former Olympiakos midfielder get on the scoresheet more often as he did so last season.
Palace may not have much money to spend next month, according to the News Shopper, so a cheap, shrewd move for Herrera would go down a treat in south London.