Crystal Palace could secure a solid replacement for Gary Cahill this summer in the shape of West Bromwich Albion defender Kyle Bartley.
What’s the story?
The Eagles saw Cahill, Mamadou Sakho and Scott Dann depart last month following the expiration of their contracts, meaning several new centre-backs will be needed ahead of the upcoming campaign.
According to The Telegraph, Palace have identified Bartley as a key transfer target and are monitoring the 30-year-old’s situation as they consider making a £3 million move for the Englishman.
Should Palace sign Bartley?
Fans will be buzzing
The 6 ft 4 beast proved he’s got what it takes to handle the pressure of the Premier League throughout 2020/21, and he could be a cheap way to improve the Palace squad given his contract situation.
Bartley only has 12 months remaining on his current deal at the Hawthorns, attracting interest from the Eagles and Newcastle United as a result, meaning Steve Parish may have to move quickly in order to secure his services.
Although Bartley may not be the glamorous, established top-level star that the south London outfit’s supporters were hoping for, news that the hierarchy are considering making a move for him will surely leave large sections of the fans buzzing.
At just £3m, his arrival would represent very good value for money, add strength in depth and leave enough funds left over to bring in a more talented partner to join and play alongside him in the heart of defence.
Despite West Brom’s significant struggles last term, Bartley was a rare highlight for the Baggies and grew in stature and confidence as the season went on.
As per WhoScored, his 1.2 blocks and 5.3 clearances per league game saw him outperform his teammates on both metrics, highlighting his importance to the Midlands outfit in their ultimately unsuccessful battle to avoid the drop.
With James Tomkins the only recognised centre-back currently on the books of the capital club, Bartley’s arrival would be a much-needed addition to Patrick Vieira’s ranks and provide the former Nice manager with a solid foundation to build upon.