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Crystal Palace are enduring a forgettable campaign in the Premier League this time around and are looking to claw their way back into the safe zone, having been stagnant in the relegation zone since the start of the season.
Despite a change in management that has seen Roy Hodgson replace Frank de Boer in September, the ex-England manager has failed to find the winning formula and the Eagles have witnessed a torrid time. Having lost 9 times in 11 games, Palace’s only win came against defending champions Chelsea in October at Selhurst Park, while the Eagles also managed to eke out a point in their 2-2 draw at home against West Ham; courtesy Wilfried Zaha’s stoppage-time equaliser.
A lack of quality in the Palace team has made Hodgson helpless and the former England manager needs fresh faces in January if he is to avoid the drop. It has been reported Crystal Palace had a scout in attendance at the Serie A game between Hellas Verona and Inter Milan on October 30, which the latter won 2-1.
And according to reports, the Eagles were watching Hellas Verona’s midfielder Daniel Bessa. The Londoners are in dire need of a quality player and Bessa tops Hodgson’s target list in January.
With the 24-year-old Bessa currently impressing for Verona, here we bring you the lowdown on the midfielder.
Born on 14 January 1993 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Bessa started his career in his native with Clube Atletico Paranaense in 2007. Inter Milan noticed him when he was playing for Atletico Paranaense’s youth team and brought him to Italy in 2008.
In what was a breakthrough year for him in 2012 in the Primavera, an unfortunate eye injury followed by a knee injury saw Bessa miss the final against Lazio which kept him out for the rest of the year. However, his contract was renewed; he joined Vicenza Calcio on-loan in January 2013 and six months later, moved to Portugal to join Sporting Clube Olhanense.
After Olhanense, Bessa spent time on loan at Sparta Rotterdam, Bologna and Como. Failing to break into Inter’s first-team despite representing them in pre-season in 2016, the Brazil-born Italian signed for Hellas Verona the same year.
Bessa has earned rave reviews at Verona, having scored 6 goals and assisted 3 times in 36 appearances.
A gifted player, Bessa is comfortable playing as a second striker, an attacking midfielder or as a holding midfielder. His dribbling and finishing skills are sensational, while he also has a penchant for long shots.
The Italian has got great feet and is the only Verona player that operates between the lines, beats players and creates numbers up. Bessa is short, so he has a low centre of gravity and since he is strong as well, it is difficult for the opposition to snatch the ball away from him.
Bessa also has the ability to play in deeper midfield roles and dictate the tempo of the game with his passing. He also gets involved in the team’s attacking moves. He is not known for his pace and acceleration to take on defenders, but his awareness and vision are his best qualities.
Always eager on long-range shooting and with an eye for goal, Bessa offers threat to the opposition from any position on the pitch. But for all his talent, he still has a few rough edges, like his reading of the game and decision-making with the ball. Being a right-footed player, the midfielder does not use his left foot often, which makes him a predictable customer for the defenders.
Crystal Palace are rock bottom in the Premier League table and need a couple of players in their side who can stabilise the midfield as well as score goals. Bessa is one such midfielder, proficient in dictating the tempo of the game as well as contributing largely in attacks with a desire for goals.
Hodgson’s side seems to lack character in the dressing room and in 24-year-old Bessa, he would surely get one. He is confident of his own ability and is not afraid to have a go at his team-mates if it is necessary.
Bessa has proved to be an important player for Verona this season and could be a fantastic January acquisition for Palace.