Why Crystal Palace should go all out to sign Alan Browne in January
Alan Browne has been a key man for Preston North End manager Alex Neil, often playing as a No. 10. With 19 goals in his first two seasons under Neil, the midfielder has improved leaps and bounds.
However, it wasn’t a steady start for Alan Browne in the 2019/20 campaign. The 24-year-old found it difficult to feature and when he did earlier this season, he lacked confidence. The Irishman was even forced to play in defence as a right-back, given Preston’s crisis in that position once.
But since the Blackburn game in October, Browne seems to have found his lost mojo. He hasn’t looked back ever since, becoming a prominent figure in the Lilywhites’ engine room. With two goals and as many assists in 23 Championship games, the Ireland international has worked wonders for Preston lately.
That being said, Crystal Palace must reignite their interest in Browne, who was linked with the Eagles four years ago. (h/t The Irish Sun)
Having picked up 27 points in 20 games, Roy Hodgson could do well with some reinforcements in January ahead of the second half of this season.
They have struggled going forward, with just 18 goals scored so far. The likes of Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend haven’t been at their best this season, while Christian Benteke is yet to open his account after 15 games. One cannot blame Connor Wickham, as he has not been utilized often.
Even though they find themselves in the top half of the table, Hodgson needs to add goals from the midfield. That’s why signing Alan Browne would make sense for the Eagles.
A creative midfielder, Browne possesses the versatility to play anywhere across the midfield and that’s evident with the different positions he has operated in at Preston this season.
He is good at threading passes in behind the opposition and combining with teammates in and around the box. The Irishman’s technical abilities combined with his energy, work ethic and versatility makes him a perfect fit for Hodgson’s system.
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As per WhoScored, the 24-year-old has averaged 2 tackles, 0.7 interceptions, 0.7 clearances and 0.3 blocks in 17 Championship appearances. With 2 assists, 2 goals and 0.7 key passes, Browne has helped Preston going forward as well.
With Palace struggling for goals, Browne would add a different dimension from the midfield and improve the overall quality of Hodgson’s attack.
At the age of 24, the Preston ace is at the right age to take the next big step in his career. And a move to Palace would be ideal for his development. Therefore, the Eagles must sign him as soon as the winter window opens.