Crystal Palace have endured a difficult opening to the season since they clinched an opening day victory over Fulham, with 3 straight defeats to report since they made their 2018/19 bow.
The importance of Wilfried Zaha to Palace’s success was further illuminated on Saturday afternoon as they failed to find the back of the net against a Southampton side who haven’t exactly hit the ground running just yet.
The level of flair, pace and creativity which Zaha installs into the attack is unrivalled within the squad, and if the club want to remain in the top-flight then they simply have to bring in a new attacking player who can ease the creative burden on his shoulders.
With that in mind, Hodgson would be wise to turn his attention towards one of the promising promising attacking midfielders in European football, namely Ante Coric.
Palace made a genuine statement of intent during the summer window as they brought Max Meyer to the club following months of speculation which linked him with a move to a handful of Europe’s most prestigious clubs.
The fact Palace were able to bring in Meyer and Fulham managed to sign Jean Michael Seri proves that London has a huge level of pulling power, so Coric could well become the next big name to arrive in the capital if he fails to break through at Roma.
After impressing throughout his youth development with Salzburg and later with Zagreb’s u17 squad, Coric broke into the first-team at Zagreb at just 17-years-of-age.
It became clear in the early stages of his career that he was a huge talent to watch for the future, so it was no surprise that Roma swooped in to sign him for just £5.4 million earlier in the summer.
The 22-year-old is yet to make his Serie A debut as he has been an unused substitute in each of their first 3 league fixtures.
That would suggest Coric will need to be patient in earning an opportunity to shine with his new club, but if he struggles to make his mark with the Italian giants there is every chance he could embark on a short-term loan in January or even a permanent deal if things don’t work out by the end of the season.
A conventional number ten by trade, Coric’s vision for a deadly through ball and willingness to dribble at his opponents make him an ideal candidate to operate in-front of a deeper lying midfield pairing of Max Meyer and Luka Milivojevic.
There’s no doubt that Roma are in a commanding position to make a hefty profit on Coric in the future as he is certainly a talent with enormous potential to develop in the years to come, but that should not prevent Hodgson from keeping a close eye on him this season before launching a potential bid in January in an effort to add a natural number ten to his midfield trio.
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