Crystal Palace are set to rival a host of Premier League and Championship clubs for the signing of Woking defender Oliver Creed.
According to TEAMtalk, the 16-year-old is ready for a move to the professional game after being apart of the first-team set up at the National League club.
The report states that Bournemouth, Southampton, West Ham, Brentford and Millwall are all interested in the youngster.
With Creed generating so much interest from the Premier League, he is clearly making a huge impression at that level.
Considering the player is yet to play a senior game for Woking, the likelihood is that he will join go straight into the club’s youth set-up.
Compared to many of the other teams interested, Palace are currently higher than anyone else in the league table. However, with the club not giving too many first-team appearances out to youngsters in recent years (Aaron Wan-Bissaka aside), perhaps there’s an argument that a side such as Brentford, who have shown much more willingness to give youngsters from lower divisions a go in recent years are a better option.
There are countless examples of players bought from the lower league at Brentford who have been given opportunities and have grown into top players. Fellow defender James Tarkowski, for example, managed to ply his trade at that level and then get a bigger move to Burnley, while the likes of Andre Gray and Chris Mepham have also made their way into the top tier.
At Palace, chances have been few and far between for youngsters since their promotion. The only youth player to make a full debut for the Eagles has been the aforementioned Wan-Bissaka (per Independent) – a big difference from when they were in the Championship with players such as Wilfried Zaha, Victor Moses, Ben Watson and Nathaniel Clyne were all able to develop.
There’s relatively little risk in this deal for Crystal Palace, so there is no real reason they shouldn’t go after him.
Obviously, as a youngster coming from non-league, his wages will likely be reasonably low in the grander scheme of the Premier League, so it will now be down to convincing the player that the club is right for him. While the allure of the top tier of English football is surely a factor here, Palace’s record with youngsters of late hasn’t been great so perhaps somewhere like Brentford would be better for his career.
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