This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Crystal Palace are reportedly set to battle West Ham and Wolves for Stoke City defender Harry Souttar in the summer.
According to the Daily Star, there is growing Premier League interest in the towering Australian centre-back with scouts from Palace, West Ham and Wolves having watched him.
But would he be a good signing for Palace? And do they need him?
Our FLW writers share their thoughts…
I think this would be a shrewd bit of business by Palace.
They’re not exactly blessed with a considerable amount of options in the heart of their defence, which has seen Cheikhou Kouyaté deployed as a defender for much of this year’s campaign.
Gary Cahill is likely to be heading towards the end of his playing career at the age of 35, so therefore it makes sense for the club to be targeting a younger centre-back for the future.
Souttar has impressed me whilst with Stoke City, and I definitely think he’s more than capable of making the step up to the Premier League in the near future.
I think this would be a good move for both Palace and Souttar.
I could see this being a decent signing for Palace.
It is no secret that the list of players whose contracts at Selhurst Park are set to expire this summer is a long one, so the Eagles are going to have to bring in players to replace those potential departures.
With several of those who are out of contract playing at centre back, that is a position they may need to strengthen this summer, and Souttar is someone who could help them to do that, with his height and physicality meaning he could suit the club well.
Add to that the fact that 22-years-old there is still plenty of time for him to improve further with the majority of his career still ahead of him, it does seem as though he could eventually become something of an asset for Palace, meaning this is a deal that could be worth looking into for them.
Palace’s centre-back options are ageing, with Mamadou Sakho, Cheikhou Kouyate, Gary Cahill, James Tomkins, and Scott Dann all aged 31 or above.
Nathan Ferguson is the only prospect they have but he has spent all season on the sidelines and it’s clear that this summer the Eagles need some fresh blood at the back.
And if they’re looking for an imposing centre-half who is good on the ball, then Souttar is probably the ideal option.
The Australia international stands at 6ft 6in, is comfortable with bringing the ball out from the back and provides a massive threat from set pieces due to his aerial ability.
Palace would have to pay a decent fee for Souttar though – he recently penned a new long-term deal at Stoke and it may take something in the region of £10 million to prize him away from Staffordshire, but I think that would be money well spent.