Crystal Palace opinion: Eagles should complete a cut-price deal for Paulo Diaz
Diaz is not the only right-back on Palace’s potential shortlist of targets though, with the Daily Star suggesting that the South Londoners also have Arsenal star Carl Jenkinson as well as Atalanta’s Timothy Castagne on their radar.
However, if Palace are really serious about bringing Diaz to the club, they would need to fend off interest from Argentine giants River Plate, although it is believed that a move to the Premier League should be more appealing to the 24-year-old. (h/t Daily Star)
Diaz, who currently plies his trade with Al-Ahli in Saudi Arabia, is keen to leave the Middle East for a bigger and more competitive league. Daily Star claims that Palace have received positive reports from scouts those who watched him play for Chile at the recently-concluded 2019 Copa America in Brazil.
Born in Santa Cruz, Chile, Diaz rose to prominence with his boyhood club Palestino and had a brief stint at Colo-Colo before moving across the continent to join Argentinian heavyweights San Lorenzo in 2016.
The versatile defender hit great heights following his move to San Lorenzo, and after accumulating 6 goals and 4 assists in 63 appearances over two seasons, the Chilean moved to Al-Ahli in 2018.
Indeed, Palace are in desperate need of a new right-back at the moment, with Wan-Bissaka no longer in the mix. Paulo Diaz is highly-rated and a cut-price deal for him this summer could prove to be a smart piece of business for Roy Hodgson and a real coup for the Eagles.
However, it is his versatility to play in multiple positions across the backline which makes him an incredibly exciting proposition for the Eagles.
Essentially a right-back by trade, Diaz is equally adept at playing as a left-back and also at the heart of the defence as a centre-back. As a matter of fact, he has also been used as a defensive midfielder quite regularly, meaning that the Chilean’s presence in the ranks could hand a significant boost to Hodgson’s squad depth and team dynamics next season.
Palace are probably only looking at him as a replacement for Wan-Bissaka but in all honesty, he could offer a lot more with his versatility, commitment and temperament.
Hence, it is easy to see that the 17-cap Chilean international could go on to establish himself as a handy utility player at Selhurst Park next season and increase competition for places in multiple areas of the pitch.
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Keeping that in mind, Palace should capitalise on the opportunity and wrap up a cut-price deal for the Chilean before the deadline in a bid to add more depth and quality to their ranks.