According to a recent report from The Sun, Crystal Palace have made a move to sign striker Oumar Niasse. The 28-year-old currently plays his football at Premier League outfit Everton and has done so since January 2016, although struggles for regular game time under new Toffees manager Marco Silva has called his future at Goodison Park into question.
And reports suggest that Roy Hodgson’s Palace are eyeing up a January move for the £55,000-a-week ace (as per Spotrac), as should Southampton and manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, as beating the Eagles to the Senegal international would finally rid the Saints of the awful Shane Long.
Ultimately, Palace’s lowly tally of 19 goals from their 21 Premier League games underlines just how badly they are in need of striking reinforcements this month, with Christian Benteke’s injury for much of the season so far depriving the Eagles of that focal point they quite clearly need.
And Everton’s Niasse would certainly go some way to bolstering that area of the field as the Londoners seek to move away from the Premier League’s relegation zone, and Southampton are another side who will surely be looking at the January window as an opportunity to land the quality needed to move them clear of danger.
And, like Palace, it’s the forward ranks that are in dire need of improvement given they have scored just two more goals than Hodgson’s men this term and managed only 37 in the Premier League last time round – clearly, the strikers aren’t delivering the goods.
Summer signing Danny Ings can be exempt from criticism given he has netted eight times for the Saints this term, but Republic of Ireland international Long is one that cannot hide from blame as his goal-scoring return in recent times has been absolutely woeful.
The 31-year-old managed only two goals for the South Coast outfit last term to add to his paltry tally of three under Claude Puel the campaign before, while this season he has so far failed to score in 13 league appearances for the Saints, taking his tally to five goals in 75 appearances for the club since the 2015/16 campaign.
Yes, Long gives Southampton a great deal off the ball in incredible tenacity and a relentless work-ethic to pressure and lead from the front, but in a side in need of more firepower and goals to move away from the relegation zone, he simply isn’t the answer – Niasse could be though.
The Senegalese star may not have enjoyed the best of times at Everton following his move from Lokomotiv Moscow back in 2016, yet last term he did produce the goods for the Toffees in bagging eight goals in just 22 Premier League appearances for the club – without his contributions, the Merseysiders may well have been in a relegation scrap.
And with strength to hold the ball up as well as an aerial presence to get on the end of crosses, the 28-year-old would bring another much-needed dimension to the Southampton attack – a dimension Long simply can’t.
And that is why the Saints simply have to beat Hodgson’s Palace to Niasse’s signature, as not only would it go some way to ridding them of awful Long, but he could prove to be a huge asset to Hasenhuttl in his side’s battle against Premier League relegation.
Southampton and Palace fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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