Why Crystal Palace must go all out to sign Gaetan Laborde
Back in January 2018, Crystal Palace were considering a move for striker Gaetan Laborde, who was then playing for Bordeaux. However, a move didn’t materialise and the Frenchman went on to sign for Montpellier last summer.
Gaetan Laborde, 25, enjoyed a solid debut season with Montpellier, bagging 13 goals and five assists in 42 appearances across all competitions. He is clearly a highly-rated talent but has played his whole career in France.
At 25, Laborde will be entering the prime years of his career and could be keen on the prospect of a move to the Premier League. That being said, Crystal Palace should reignite their interest in the former France youth international and sign him from Montpellier.
The Eagles’ major issue last season was lack of goals. Christian Benteke struggled for large parts this past season, while Andre Ayew failed to get as many goals as Roy Hodgson would have liked. It was Michy Batshuayi who delivered when it was most required but he has returned back to Chelsea following the expiry of his short loan spell.
Wilfried Zaha was once again Palace’s chief supplier of goals but without any support in other areas of the pitch in terms of goals, Hodgson’s side will again face the difficulty of depending upon just one or two players to carry them home throughout the season. That’s why signing Gaetan Laborde makes a ton of sense.
A centre-forward by trade, Laborde can also play on the right-wing and use his pace and dribbling skills to terrorise the opposition defence.
He is a forward who excels in the air, in spite of his 5ft 9in frame. This is thanks to the timing of his jumps and his movement. He is a tough player and can play with his back to his goal while holding up the ball and bringing his teammates into the game.
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The Frenchman is one of those strikers who enjoys playing on the shoulder of the last defender. He likes to run the channels, finish off the chances with regularity and also link-up play with other attacking midfielders.
A clinical finisher in front of the goal, Laborde would undoubtedly improve Palace’s attacking ranks, whilst potentially forming a lethal partnership upfront with the likes of Zaha and Townsend.
All in all, the Eagles shouldn’t hesitate in signing Laborde, who would represent an upgrade on Benteke.
A new centre-forward is a must, and if Palace could manage to get their hands on the Frenchman, chances of Hodgson’s side breaking into the top half of the table would certainly increase next term.