Crystal Palace would strike gold by signing this explosive 22-year-old Frenchman to replace Wilfried Zaha in the long run

Crystal Palace Opinion: Why the Eagles should sign Allan Saint-Maximin?

Earlier in the summer, Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha has informed the Eagles of his desire to leave for a bigger club ahead of next season. Meanwhile, there’s been talk of a potential move to Arsenal, with the Ivory Coast international himself keen on joining the Gunners.

The Eagles would demand around £80million before they consider parting company with their most influential player—Wilfried Zaha, who enjoyed the best season of his career last term. Arsenal’s failure to qualify for the Champions League means they’ll have to sell a couple of their star players to fund a move for Zaha.

Palace are also reluctant to sell the Ivorian this summer after losing Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United. But there’s every chance of the 26-year-old winger putting in a transfer request to force his way out of Selhurst Park, regardless of signing a five-year contract in August 2018.

Having lost Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United, failing to keep hold of Zaha in the same transfer window would be a massive blow for Roy Hodgson and Palace. Zaha has improved leaps and bounds after a disastrous move to United as a youngster, currently establishing himself as one of Premier League’s devastating forwards.

Surely, replacing the 26-year-old won’t be easy for the Eagles but Hodgson must look to bring OGC Nice winger Allan Saint-Maximin this summer. In fact, the Metro claim Palace are already plotting a swoop for the Frenchman to replace Zaha next season.

Saint-Maximin, 22, scored six goals and assisted thrice in 34 Ligue 1 games for OGC Nice last season, thriving under manager Patrick Vieira. A winger by trade, the France Under-21 international has the ability to play on either flank or as a secondary striker. To go with his tireless work-rate, the 22-year-old is blessed with explosive pace, silky dribbling skills and trickery.

His movement and sharpness in attack have been the envy of many defenders in the Ligue 1. The Frenchman is quite agile and athletic, attributes which should make it a lot easier for him to cope with the physical, as well as dynamic nature of the Premier League. Saint-Maximin isn’t solely a speedster though, as he also has vision, ability and technique which makes him an extremely tricky winger to mark.

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There are certain areas Saint-Maximin must improve on such as his decision-making in the final third and releasing of the ball at the right time. Nevertheless, he is an exciting player that can get the Palace faithful up from their seats in every game at Selhurst Park.

Verdict

And if Zaha does indeed leave this summer, the Eagles could do a lot worse than to invest on Saint-Maximin. The Frenchman would certainly be a top signing for Hodgson and he can develop into a star at Selhurst Park.

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Written by Rohan Sengupta

Hi, I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.

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