According to a recent report from Tutto Mercato Web, Crystal Palace are interested in a last-gasp January move for David Okereke. The 21-year-old currently plays his football in Italy with Serie B side Spezia and has done so for almost three years, with his fine goal-scoring exploits for the Italian outfit this season seemingly attracting the interest of Eagles manager Roy Hodgson.
And that’s because a recent report from Tutto Mercato Web suggests that the Londoners are interested in a January move for the young striker, but they are also reportedly (as per TEAMtalk) keeping an eye on Middlesbrough forward Britt Assombalonga as well.
And given the latter has proven his worth in English football before, Palace should forget about Okereke and instead target a move for Assombalonga – the man who could go some way to finally ending the Eagles’ striking woes.
Ultimately, there is little doubting that 21-year-old Okereke is playing the best football of his career at present, what with the Nigerian striker having scored six goals and laid on eight assists in just 16 Serie B matches – in fact, he has failed to contribute directly in just five league appearances so far this term to underline his fine form in the final third of the field.
And while the young striker would arrive at Selhurst Park, were a move to happen, in fine form and ready to hit the ground running, which cannot always be said of January signings, the fact he hasn’t played at all in English football, or indeed the top-flight of Italian football, is likely to be of huge concern to Palace fans – quite simply, it remains to be seen whether he could produce the goods in England.
And while Middlesbrough’s Assombalonga also hasn’t played any football in the Premier League in his career, repeatedly scoring goals in the notoriously difficult Championship suggests that he could well provide the answer to Palace’s woes upfront.
The 26-year-old may well have struggled for regular football recently under Tony Pulis at Middlesbrough, but his 24 second tier appearances this season have still yielded seven goals, thus adding to what was already a mightily impressive record in the Championship.
In fact, the DR Congo international has now scored 52 times in just 137 appearances in the second tier for Boro and indeed Nottingham Forest, with it pretty clear that there are few more predatory goal-scorers in the Championship than Assombalonga – he has reached double figures in all of his three prior full seasons in the second tier.
And that appears to be of interest to Palace manager Hodgson given his side are reportedly (as per TEAMtalk) keeping an eye on the 26-year-old’s situation at Boro – the former England boss may well think that he is the answer to their striking problems.
Yes, there would be some risk associated with a deal for Assombalonga, what with the striker having suffered injury problems in the past alongside no prior Premier League experience, but in possessing the hallmarks of a striker who often gets in the right place at the right time, he could be the ideal man for the talented and tricky wingers of Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha to aim at in the box.
So while Okereke is in fine form and, at the tender age of 21, looks set for a bright future in the game, the Eagles simply must forget about him and instead seal a deal for £10.8 million-rated Assombalonga (as per Transfermarkt) this month.
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