Three Centre-Backs Who Crystal Palace Should Target This Summer
With the transfer window officially underway, clubs will be looking to get deals done before they kick off their pre-season campaign.
Crystal Palace have had a pretty mundane summer as of yet. Having spent the good part of last month in getting a new manager, the Eagles brought in former Inter Milan and Ajax boss Frank de Boer as the new boss of the club and the Dutchman will be intent on getting the work started soon, as he looks to stamp his authority on the team.
One area of the squad that needs serious strengthening is the central defence. Palace have just two senior centre-backs in the squad in James Tomkins and captain Scott Dann, who can play regularly in the first-team. While veteran Damien Delaney did sign an extension with the club, he isn’t getting any younger and cannot be relied upon as much as he has been in the past. For a good part of last season, they had to utilise full-back Martin Kelly in the heart of the defence which was far from ideal.
Signing a new centre-back would be on top of the list of De Boer’s things to do following his arrival, and here are three options that Palace can look at.
The 25-year old is reportedly on the radar of Palace and De Boer played a huge role in his establishment as a key player for Ajax in the past few years.
Veltman has grown into an important part of the Dutch side and had a strong 2016/17 season, helping the team to a 2nd-place finish in the Eredivisie and the finals of the UEFA Europa League. He made 44 appearances across all competitions and managed 3 assists. His ability to switch into the roles of a right-back or a centre-back with great ease make him an excellent option to have in the ranks. His experience at the top level and in Europe will only help the whole squad get better.
The 22-year old Chelsea centre-half may be made available on loan in the summer, with manager Antonio Conte keen on bringing in another top class defender into the ranks.
Zouma has been tipped as the future of the Chelsea team, but a serious injury he suffered a year ago has stalled his progress somewhat. Having made his mark under Jose Mourinho a couple seasons back, he has shown that he can be a great option to count upon in the backline. However, he was sparingly used by Conte in the 2016-17 season and judging by the rumours flying around, his first-team chances are unlikely to improve. Young, exciting, and proven on the Premier League stages, Zouma could be a good option for the Eagles.
Another Chelsea player on the list, Tomas Kalas could be available on a permanent deal as it looks extremely unlikely that he will be able to break into the first team at the Stamford Bridge.
The 24-year old has had a plethora of loan spells away from the Premier League champions. Last season, he spent with fellow London club Fulham in the EFL Championship where he had an impressive season. He made 40 appearances last time around, scoring one and setting up three more for the Cottagers, as they finished 6th in the second tier. There has been strong interest from Fulham on getting him on a permanent deal and recently relegated Hull City too are in the hunt (Hull Daily Mail).
Kalas may not have had a great deal of experience in the Premier League, but has proven himself in the lower league and can turn out to be a shrewd addition, as he might come cheaply, with just a year left on his contract with Chelsea.