The Crystal Palace fans in the Transfer Tavern will be wondering when Roy Hodgson will move to bring a defender, after last season’s defensive issues at Selhurst Park.
According to the Evening Standard, the Eagles were chasing the signature of the 28-year-old Japanese defender of Japanese defender Hiroki Sakai, who is currently plying his trade at Ligue 1 Olympique de Marseille.
Sakai is a vastly experienced defender, having spent four years at German Hannover 96, before joining up with Marseille in 2016. For a defender of Sakai’s experience, £12m in the modern market would represent good value. Crystal Palace have already missed out on target Ryan Fredericks, who has moved to the London Stadium from Fulham.
Despite the fact Sakai has three years remaining on his £50,000 per week deal in Marseille, it is thought the French club are willing to listen to offers. Crystal Palace should move for a defender with the experience and ability of Sakai if they plan to push on next season. Eagles rivals Brighton & Hove Albion, and midlands club Leicester City are also believed to be looking at the defender. Roy Hodgson will want to bring in a number of new additions to the club, all over the pitch, as he attempts to improve on Palace’s last season. The ex-England manager did a good job with the Eagles, consolidating them to a mid-table finish after a disastrous start, in which the South Londoners didn’t score in their opening seven matches.
The Tavern regulars will be want to know Hodgson is planning to add to the defence, with injuries to Joel Ward, Mamadou Sako and Papa Souare meaning Palace were forced into some rather makeshift defences last season. However, Palace fans will want academy graduate Aaron Wan-Bissaka to still get first team chances next season, and will be hoping a new defensive arrival does not halt the local boy’s progress at Selhurst Park.
Crystal Palace fans, what do you think? Let us know below.