Crystal Palace Opinion: Would Neal Maupay be ideal for the Eagles?
However, a move away from Griffin Park failed to materialize for the former French youth international and he continues to weave his magic for the Bees.
The interest from bigger clubs in the Frenchman doesn’t come as a surprise, with the 22-year-old impressing with his prolific form in front of goal. Maupay has scored 19 goals and has set up another 6 in the process in the Championship this season to keep Brentford above the relegation zone.
A product of French Ligue 1 club OGC Nice, Maupay rose to prominence in his homeland with his boyhood club and later St. Etienne before making his move to the Championship at the start of the last season.
Since then, he has developed into a fine young forward and has caught the eye with his consistently impressive displays in front of goal, accumulating 34 goals and 12 assists from 81 appearances for Brentford across all competitions.
Maupay is not the most physically imposing striker, neither is he capable of stamping his authority with his aerial ability. However, he makes up for it with his pace, technical abilities, dribbling, movement and eye for goal.
A tactically-versatile attacker, Maupay is essentially a centre-forward by trade but he is also capable of playing out wide on wither flank and through the centre in a No.10 role owing to his playmaking abilities.
Known for his subtle movement, drive, determination and tenacity as an attacker, Maupay likes to use his pace and dribbling skills to beat the opposition.
An opportunistic striker, he always keeps the defenders on their toes with his movement off the ball, often dropping deep to get involved in the build-up play and open up the spaces.
To go with his pace, movement and skills, the Frenchman has real quality on the ball and has the ability to set up his teammates with key passes in the attacking third.
Furthermore, he is a clinical finisher who is adept at putting away the chances that come his way. Maupay has averaged 3.6 shots and 1.3 key passes per game in the Championship this term.
To put things into perspective, Crystal Palace should eye an audacious swoop to land the Frenchman next summer. It was reported by Football London that Maupay would command a transfer fee in excess of £20 million but that shouldn’t be a massive problem for the Eagles.
Palace moved 6 points ahead of the relegation zone with an emphatic 4-1 victory over Leicester City last week, but in all honesty, Roy Hodgson’s side haven’t had much to cheer about all season.
To go along with their poor home record in the Premier League, Palace have struggled to create chances and score goals, something that has been one of the major causes of their undoing this term.
Christian Benteke, who was supposed to be one of the mainstays of the team’s attack, has struggled for form and fitness, putting too much pressure on the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend.
While Zaha has once again delivered the goods, Townsend has blown hot and cold. Connor Wickham has also spent large quarters of the campaign on the treatment table and Swansea City loanee Jordan Ayew has hardly had any impact, leaving Hodgson to sweat over the lack of firepower up front.
And that is exactly why someone like Neal Maupay cam prove to be a marquee signing for the Eagles next summer.
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Maupay, with his ability to score as well as create goals, can spark creativity in terms of that final ball, whilst also providing a goal threat up front.
The Frenchman might help them improve massively next season and that said, they should go all out to sign him.