Crystal Palace supporters in the Transfer Tavern are very much looking forward to the 2018/19 Premier League season, what with their side seeking to improve upon a pretty impressive 11th place finish last time round.
Roy Hodgson’s men looked to be heading one way when they lost their opening seven games of the new season, only for the former England chief to lead a remarkable survival effort with the Eagles picking up 44 points from their last 31 matches to seal a mid-table finish. As such, it’s clear that this Palace team has much talent and potential, although our resident Eagles supporters will be hoping for some signings over the summer in their quest to challenge the top ten.
And one man who could be on his way to Selhurst Park is Stoke City midfielder Giannelli Imbula, with recent reports suggesting that both Palace and indeed Newcastle are keen on the 25-year-old.
However, the former France youth international hasn’t exactly set the world alight in English football, and as such the Eagles must forget about him, as there’s only one Stoke star they should seek to sign this summer, namely Xherdan Shaqiri.
Ultimately, former Porto star Imbula made the move to the bet365 Stadium back in 2016 amid much excitement and anticipation, yet he has completely failed to live up to expectations with just 28 senior appearances for the Potters.
In fact, Imbula was so far down the pecking order at the Staffordshire-based club that he was shipped out on loan to Toulouse for the entirety of the 2017/18 campaign, with it clear that the 25-year-old has done little to convince of his capabilities in English football, and as such Palace should seriously think twice about a move.
Whereas there is little doubting that Switzerland international Shaqiri, currently on international duty at this summer’s World Cup, has proven his qualities during his time in England, even if it hasn’t quite been as consistent as Stoke fans would have hoped.
The 26-year-old enjoyed his best campaign at the bet365 Stadium last time round in netting eight goals and laying on seven assists for the club, although his efforts weren’t enough to keep the Potters in the top-flight.
However, having shown moments of quality throughout his time at Stoke, it’s clear that the former Bayern Munich forward is indeed a top-flight player, and one that would add a great deal more quality to the Palace attacking ranks.
And if the Eagles are to indeed let Andros Townsend leave this summer amid interest from Newcastle, they will have to look at replacing the England international – Shaqiri could be the ideal man for the job.
And with the Swiss star commanding a reported £12 million this summer, the Eagles simply must forget about Imbula, and instead target his Stoke teammate Shaqiri during the close season.
Palace fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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