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Crystal Palace: Eagles eye Ilaix Moriba

Crystal Palace: Eagles eye Ilaix Moriba -Crystal Palace News

Crystal Palace are interested in RB Leipzig midfielder Ilaix Moriba, according to French outlet Foot Mercato (via Sport Witness). 

The lowdown

With just under a month of the transfer window remaining, Palace have made four signings for a combined fee of £31.14million.

They’ve added defensive midfielder Cheick Doucoure, centre-back Chris Richards, goalkeeper Sam Johnstone and winger Malcolm Ebiowei.

But the squad is also down a player from last season in the shape of Conor Gallagher, who’s returned to Chelsea following his loan spell.

Leipzig paid £14.4million to sign Moriba from Barcelona just last summer, but they would end up loaning him back to La Liga with Valencia for the second half of the 2021/22 campaign.

The latest

The report states that Palace would ‘indeed be interested in the idea’ of signing Moriba.

Patrick Vieira has been in contact with the Guinean to ‘try to convince him’ to make the move to Selhurst Park.

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Who scored Palace's first goal of 2021?

The verdict

The Athletic’s Matt Woosnam wrote earlier this month that Palace looked a side who would be hurt by the loss of Gallagher. And so that begs the question, could Moriba be an effective replacement?

Where will Palace finish this season?

Top half

Top half

11th-14th

11th-14th

15th or lower

15th or lower

There are clear similarities between the two players, based on their FBRef profiles.

They each record a high volume of shots from midfield, with Moriba ranking in the 91st percentile and Gallagher in the 89th, and touches in the attacking penalty area are a prominent feature too (Moriba 85th percentile, Gallagher 89th).

Both players contribute out of possession – they’re in the 98th and 93rd respectively for pressures per 90 minutes – and Vieira will no doubt value that.

It seemingly isn’t working out for Moriba at Leipzig, but the Palace boss might believe that there’s an excellent player in there for him to unlock.

Indeed, the 19-year-old featured on the Golden Boy shortlist in 2021, and Leipzig president Oliver Mintzlaff has called him an ‘exceptional talent’.


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