Crystal Palace haven’t been able to make much use of the ongoing summer transfer window so far. The London based outfit have managed to bring just one new face to the Selhurst Park in shot-stopper Vicente Guaita from Getafe on a free transfer. With the transfer window set to shut down on 9th August, Roy Hodgson does need reinforcements to beef up his ranks.
The Eagles struggled terribly in the first half of the previous campaign and at a point of time, it seemed that their relegation to the Championship was certain. However, it was only after the entry of Hodgson that the fortunes turned in their favour. The 70-year-old utilised all his tactical nous and experience and forged a remarkable turnaround.
Having finished at the 11th spot in the league standings last season, Crystal Palace must be aiming to have a more consistent season. Bolstering their midfield ranks holds a lot of importance and one of the players who has been heavily linked with Hodgson’s camp is West Ham United’s utility man Cheikhou Kouyate. Reportedly, the Hammers have rejected Crystal Palace’s opening bid of £11million for Kouyate.
It was the first bid from Palace and apparently, Manuel Pellegrini’s side are holding out for a sum which is a little more than what they have been offered. The 28-year-old is expected to struggle to get regular game time under his belt this season owing to the numerous additions the former Manchester City manager has made this summer and a price tag of £15million has been put on his collar.
Pellegrini has Jack Wilshere, Declan Rice, Josh Cullen, Mark Noble and Pedro Obiang in his arsenal who can play in a similar position and therefore, it would make a lot of sense for Kouyate to make an exit if he wants assured minutes. The midfielder is under a contract with the Irons until 2021 and thus, West Ham United are expecting more than what Crystal Palace have tabled. Nonetheless, Hodgson should refrain from giving up on his pursuit of signing the 28-year-old.
Capable of plying his trade in the central defensive midfield as well as a centre-back, Kouyate has volumes of experience under his belt. He is superb in the air and is a tough tackler. He has the ability of cushioning his side’s back line in a shrewd manner and this gives his fellow midfielders the licence to gallop forward. Besides, he reads the attacking endeavours of the opposition meticulously and would be an ideal signing for Crystal Palace.