Crystal Palace opinion: The Eagles should go for Javier Ontiveros
According to a report from ESPN, Crystal Palace are one of the clubs interested in signing Malaga starlet, Javier Ontiveros.
With eight goals and 12 assists in all competitions, the 21-year-old stepped up in style and helped Malaga reach the Segunda Liga playoffs last season. The report adds he is keen to complete a move to the Premier League ahead of next season.
But Crystal Palace will face stiff competition from their Premier League rivals. Newly-promoted pair Norwich City and Sheffield United are both keen on the former Spain Under-19 international. Nevertheless, it is Roy Hodgson’s Palace that should win the race for Javier Ontiveros’ signature.
The Eagles have already sold Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United and are facing an uphill task to keep hold of their star forward Wilfried Zaha, who has asked for an exit amid interest from Arsenal.
Zaha has become one of the most lethal wingers in the Premier League since his return to Crystal Palace in 2014. The Ivorian enjoyed his most productive campaign in the Premier League this past season. He was involved in 20 league goals, helping the Eagles finish 12th in the league table.
If Zaha departs this summer, it would be a big blow for Hodgson and his team. With Jordan Ayew and Michy Batshuayi having returned to their parent clubs upon completion of their loan spells and Christian Benteke in his decline, the Palace boss desperately needs more quality in the final third next season.
That being said, the South Londoners should take a gamble on Javier Ontiveros, who has bags of ability. He is young and inexperienced at the highest level but gave a glimpse of his maturity last season, while playing for Malaga in the Spanish second-tier.
A right-winger by trade, he can play on the opposite side as well as through the middle. The Spaniard loves to stay out wide and whip in crosses into the box. His quick footwork allows him to get past defenders or wriggle his way through tight situations.
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Ontiveros has excellent pace, technique and dribbling skills that makes him such a tricky player to mark for a full-back. In a couple of years’ time, the 21-year-old has also become a composed finisher in front of goal.
Considering interest in the Malaga star is hotting up, Palace must quickly table a bid for Ontiveros. He could be a shrewd signing and will add goals and creativity to the Eagles ranks.