Crystal Palace have been linked with a move for Lille defender Sven Botman as new manager Patrick Vieira begins to make his mark on the club.
What’s the story?
According to Sky Sports News, the Eagles are one of many sides interested in acquiring the 21-year-old’s signature this summer, with Atalanta currently believed to be in pole position to get him.
The report states that La Dea want Botman to replace Tottenham Hotspur-bound Cristian Romero and that he would be keen to speak to the Serie A outfit.
However, despite the promise of Champions League football at the Gewiss Stadium, the Dutchman is open to a move to the Premier League. West Ham United are believed to be the keenest on the 6 ft 3 beast, but Palace, Newcastle United and Norwich City are also credited with an interest.
Do Palace need Botman?
Fans will be buzzing
Botman came up through the ranks with Eredivisie giants Ajax, but never made an appearance for his boyhood club, joining Lille 12 months ago following a successful loan spell with Heerenveen.
And the gamble paid off for ex-boss Christophe Galtier as the youngster played a pivotal part in the club’s remarkable title-winning campaign.
In 37 Ligue 1 appearances for Lille, Botman averaged 1.5 interceptions, 3.2 clearances and 0.6 blocks, placing him in the top three amongst his teammates for each metric, as per WhoScored.
His eye-catching displays attracted the attention of several clubs across the continent, but the top teams in England reportedly remain unconvinced that he’s ready for the elite level after just one full season of regular top-flight football.
After starring for the Netherlands’ U21s at the European Championships last month, Sky Sports claim Lille have placed a £27 million price tag on their prized asset and would be willing to sell this summer.
It’s believed that Les Dogues want to keep hold of Botman if possible, but their finances have been seriously impacted by the ongoing pandemic and the collapse of the television deal for french football.
Although Palace have already seriously strengthened at centre-half, Botman would provide Vieira with a natural left-footed option at the heart of defence, which is a real commodity in the modern game.
While adding a striker, right-winger and central midfielder may take priority over a third central defender for the capital club, the opportunity to acquire a player of Botman’s quality and potential is not something to pass up.
Palace fans will rightly be excited for their club to be linked with such a quality young player and they will be hoping that the talented defender makes his way to Selhurst Park this summer.
Sky Sports News report that, should a team come in with an offer of around £27m, Lille could give it genuine consideration. Palace should make that offer now, and look to beat the other interested clubs to Botman’s signature.