Crystal Palace target Jonathan Afolabi would be an underwhelming addition

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…

According to Football London, Crystal Palace are vying with Premier League rivals Aston Villa for the signing of free agent striker Jonathan Afolabi, but he would be an underwhelming signing in what is a problem position for the Eagles.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the 19-year-old is searching for his next club after leaving Southampton, having been unconvinced that he would be handed too many first-team opportunities at St Mary’s.

Football London report that the south London outfit have offered the Republic of Ireland U19 international a contract, although they face competition from Villa for the attacker.

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The report adds that sides from Russia and Spain have also expressed an interest in the player, who may well see a realistic opportunity to break into the starting XI should he move to Selhurst Park.

Underwhelming

Given the recent records of their strikers – Christian Benteke has four goals in 50 matches in the previous two seasons, Connor Wickham has only made 42 appearances for the club in four years due to injury issues and Alexander Sorloth is yet to score a Premier League goal for them – you might have expected that a new centre-forward would be a priority for Palace this summer.

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Former loanee Michy Batshuayi made an impact with six goals in 13 games in the second half of the 2018/19 campaign, and Eagles supporters were keen to see him return on a permanent basis.

However, that doesn’t appear to be on the cards right now and while they have completed the signing of Jordan Ayew, they still don’t have a proven goal-getter in their ranks.

Dublin-born Afolabi made a grand total of zero appearances for Southampton’s first team prior to his exit, and while his record of nine goals in 36 outings for their U23 side isn’t terrible, it doesn’t exactly set the pulses racing either.

If he signs and is expected to compete with the likes of Benteke, Wickham and Ayew for a starting spot, it will be disappointing to say the least.

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