New Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira has already begun a significant overhaul of the first-team squad, and another potential transfer target has now been identified.
What’s the story?
According to CBS, the Eagles have joined a growing list of suitors for Arsenal winger Reiss Nelson. The 21-year-old has struggled for game time at the Emirates Stadium over the last couple of campaigns, leading to speculation over his future.
The Eagles reportedly face competition from fellow Premier League outfits Brentford and Brighton for Nelson’s signature, as well as several teams in the Bundesliga and Greek giants Olympiacos.
With the England U21 international out of contract next summer, the Gunners have offered him an extension with a view to being loaned out for 2021-22.
However, no agreement has been reached between the club and player, meaning Arsenal must sell up now or face the prospect of losing their academy graduate on a free transfer in 12 months’ time.
Should Palace sign Nelson?
Parish must swoop
Nelson first rose to prominence in the 2018/19 campaign when he bagged eight goals and provided one assist in 31 appearances for Hoffenheim during a season-long loan spell with the German outfit.
Unfortunately for the youngster, he failed to replicate that sort of form upon his return to north London, with the likes of Nicolas Pepe, Willian and Bukayo Saka all ahead of him in the pecking order.
In 39 outings over the last two seasons in all competitions, Nelson has scored just six goals and laid on a further four assists, not the sort of returns that a forward for Arsenal is expected to record.
Nevertheless, he’s shown glimpses of his quality and potential during his limited time on the pitch, and a move to Palace could provide him with the perfect platform to fulfil his promise.
Despite his unfavourable contract situation, Arsenal are expected to demand between £15m to £20m for the flying winger, and Mikel Arteta’s previous comments may indicate why the capital club value him so highly.
“We have pace in a few players up front. Reiss (Nelson) is a special player and can eliminate players one on one. He’s been out for a while, but he’s back now, and he showed what he’s capable of doing,” said the Spanish tactician following an impressive 2-0 FA Cup win at Portsmouth.
It remains to be seen whether Palace follow up their interest with a bid for Nelson, but chairman Steve Parish must swoop for skilful forward and supply Vieira with a squad capable of staying up next season.