Transfer Focus: Crystal Palace interested in Fulham hitman Aleksandar Mitrovic

The London Evening Standard are claiming that Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace are interested in Fulham hitman Aleksandar Mitrovic ahead of the summer transfer window.

What’s the word, then?

West Ham United are also eyeing the Serbian international as their second-choice target if they aren’t able to prise Maxi Gomez away from La Liga in the summer – per the original report.

The centre-forward joined the Cottagers permanently from Newcastle United a year ago as part of the club’s pre-Premier League return investment plan, with the 24-year-old being the only real thing that’s gone right about it.

Mitrovic has notched 11 top-flight goals and three assists in a team that has long been doomed to relegation, making him a sought-after man mostly to clubs who are bidding to keep him at the highest level of English football.

There is no mention of a potential transfer fee for Mitrovic, but Transfermarkt value him at £22.5million – which seems like the right ballpark.

The final piece of the cunning Zaha replacement plan jigsaw

Palace fans need to face up to the fact that, unless some kind of Selhurst Park miracle takes place over the summer months, Wilfried Zaha is going to be leaving their club – he practically admitted as much to The Daily Mail back in April.

The good news is that he shouldn’t exit for a low figure, giving Hodgson plenty of dough to spend on his replacement or replacements.

The Eagles aren’t going to be able to lure a big-name player with the ability to replace Zaha all on his own to south London, so they need to look for at least three stars who can replicate certain facets of his game.

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Pace and flair are key assets that need replacing too but where are the goals going to come from?

The answer to that is quite clearly Mitrovic as the prolific striker managed to net even more times than Zaha during the 2018/2019 Premier League season.

In signing the Serbia star, Palace would also be killing two birds with one stone, replacing Zaha in part while allowing themselves to shift deadwood such as Christian Benteke and Jordan Ayew. They’ll also need firepower to help fill the void of Michy Batshuayi who remains on course to return to Chelsea – although that could well change in the coming months.

This little cherry on the top helps to make Mitrovic a must-have for the South Londoners.