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Crystal Palace: Eagles eye Junior Sambia

Crystal Palace: Eagles eye Junior Sambia -Crystal Palace News

Crystal Palace are battling French clubs for the signing of Montpellier right-back Junior Sambia, according to Le10 Sport (via Sport Witness).

The lowdown

Sambia is predominantly a full-back but he’s also played six games as a winger this season.

The 25-year-old Frenchman has made 27 league appearances this season (16 of them from the start), taking him to a total of 138 Ligue 1 outings.

Sambia, rated at £4.95million by Transfermarkt, could walk away from the Mosson Stadium as a free agent this summer, with his contract due to expire.

Journalist Matt Monaghan dubbed him ‘the most important footballer in Europe’ in April 2020 after he suffered severe Covid-19 symptoms and was placed in a medically-induced coma, illustrating the dangers associated with returning to play.

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The latest

The report (via SW) states that a number of clubs have ‘clearly positioned’ themselves to make a push for Sambia.

Among them are Europa Conference League quarterfinalists Marseille, who showed interest in January.

Strasbourg, currently fourth in Ligue 1, are said to be the ‘most active’ club in the race at the moment.

Palace, meanwhile, are offering him a route out of France and a chance to play in the Premier League.

The verdict

What kind of right-back is Sambia?

Well, he’s clocked up 13 Ligue 1 assists across his career to date, a steady rate of one every 10.6 games.

He is fairly adventurous, ranking in the 91st percentile (among positional peers in the top five leagues) for dribbles completed, the 88th for progressive passes received and the 71st for progressive carries.

Sambia is also right up there when it comes to blocks, averaging 2.55 per 90 minutes (93rd percentile).

Palace’s existing right-backs, Nathaniel Clyne and Joel Ward, are 31 and 32 years old respectively, so signing Sambia, without spending a penny on transfer fees, could freshen things up in the position.

In other news, Palace are also keen on this La Liga star.

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Article title: Crystal Palace: Eagles eye Junior Sambia

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