Why Crystal Palace should go all out to sign Adama Soumaoro in January
Back in July, Voix du Nord (h/t the Liverpool Echo) had claimed that Crystal Palace were interested in signing Lille defender Adama Soumaoro. However, a move didn’t materialise and he stayed put at the Ligue 1 club.
Adama Soumaoro, 27, has only played five Ligue 1 games this season, and despite spending his entire career with Lille, he has never truly made himself a sure-shot starter. He currently plays second fiddle to Jose Fonte and Gabriel Magalhaes.
With the Frenchman struggling for regular game time at Lille, Crystal Palace must reignite their interest in the defender when the transfer window reopens next month.
Crystal Palace are currently light on central defenders, with Gary Cahill undergoing a minor knee operation and Scott Dann set to be out for the rest of the Christmas period due to a calf problem. Mamadou Sakho has endured another injury-hit campaign at the Selhurst Park.
Due to the Eagles’ defensive crisis, Cheikhou Kouyate started at the heart of defence alongside James Tomkins against Newcastle United. While Kouyate put in a solid display in the 1-0 defeat, the lack of depth in the area was glaring and that is something Roy Hodgson should address in January.
That being said, someone like Adama Soumaoro would be a good fit for Palace. Having played very little for Lille this season, Soumaoro has averaged 0.4 interceptions, 2 clearances and 0.8 blocks.
He has a 96.7% passing accuracy, which simply shows how calm and composed the French defender is on the ball. [Courtesy: WhoScored]
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Given that he is 27, Palace have every reason to look at Soumaoro as a long-term solution in a bid to add quality and depth to their backline. His robust style of defending and physical traits make him a perfect fit for the hustle and bustle of Premier League football.
The French centre-back of Malian descent would be an improvement on the current options at Palace, although he’s never really been a regular starter at Lille.
At the age of 27, Soumaoro is entering the prime years of his career and signing him next month would not only strengthen Palace’s backline but would also boost the club’s hopes of achieving a top-half finish this season.