Tag Archives: crystal palace

Crystal Palace could be getting a real gem from former Wigan Athletic loanee

Crystal Palace is linked with a move for Chelsea star Reece James, as they look to find a replacement for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who signed for Manchester United in a deal worth £50 million.

Today at The Football Manc Cave, Dan is going to look at what James would offer Palace.

I was lucky enough to watch James all of last season, being a Wigan Athletic fan. He’s the best player I’ve ever seen at Latics. Consider the fact he joined as a teenager that had never played a competitive match, then left after winning Player of the Year, captaining the side and dominating most of the Championship’s midfield – he did pretty well.

Big props to Palace’s scouts, not a lot of people realise how good James is going to be. I’ve no doubt he’ll play for England within the next 2 years, first-team football is crucial though. I expect Frank Lampard to give him an opportunity to showcase himself at Chelsea, if he does, Palace won’t be signing him. James is already good enough for Chelsea, versatile and just an all-around top player.

What makes him so good?

For me, it’s his attitude off the pitch. He never once thought he was too good for us, you could tell he appreciated what Wigan was offering him, and he loved playing for us. James attended academy matches, talking to our youth players about how they could improve.

On the pitch, he was just a different level. Strength, pace, set-pieces, tackles, passing, he’s got the lot. A joy to watch. He could play anywhere on the pitch and do a job. I hope for his sake, he chooses whatever is best for him. All he needs is first-team football, and he’ll fly to the top in no time.

Forget Zaha: Ligue 1 starlet is the answer according to polled Arsenal fans

This week we asked you who Arsenal should sign, Nabil Fekir or Wilfred Zaha.

Arsenal is known to be looking for signings this transfer window before the season starts and two names that have been on their radar are Zaha and Fekir. We asked you here which player would be a better fit and 71% of you favoured Fekir.

Since the original news of his possible departure from Lyon broke, the Gunners are meant to have advanced in their talking to Fekir but haven’t yet made a bid or negotiated a deal. It has been made apparent that Arsenal are quite stuck for cash in this window, so I think that’s the main reason to why the poll vote favoured the Frenchman.

If you’re reading this and you don’t know who he is, he’s a 25-year-old midfielder and striker. He’s been with Lyon since his youth and has had appearances in the French international team. When comparing the two, I favoured him as the right man for Arsenal as he’s cheaper, played in a different league which would make him keen to for a change and generally I think he’d make a fresh addition.

26-year-old Zaha had interest from the Gunners too and they supposedly put forward a £40 million bid for him. However, Crystal Palace rejected the advances as they are holding out for £80 million. I presume that fans think the asking price is too high and not worth the cost. At the end of the day, any club would go for a cheaper option if they had two players that could deliver the same type of play and get similar results, cash struck or not.

Around 143 of you voted and 101 of you went for the cheaper option. I hope Arsenal fans get the result they want with this signing and if it does go ahead, I’m hoping Fekir will deliver.

POLL: Who should Arsenal prioritise – 40m Zaha v 30m Fekir

Arsenal is on the lookout for new recruits before the transfer window is over but which player should they prioritise in trying to strike a deal with?

The Gunners are supposedly cash strapped so recruiting a bargain has been part of a plan this summer. They have now been linked with two potential signings and we want you to decide who it should be. 

Wilfred Zaha

The 26-year-old striker has been with Crystal Palace since his youth. He broke into the first team in 2010 and until 2013 he made 110 appearances and grabbed 12 goals. He then signed to Man United where he only made 2 appearances in 2 years because they loaned him back out to Crystal Palace, then to Cardiff, then back to Palace again.

In 2015, the striker signed for Palace again officially, he’s since had 147 games and scored 31 goals. There is a problem however, Arsenal has budgeted £40 million for him but it will get rejected because Palace wants £80 million for him. So let’s hope a price can be negotiated.

Nabil Fekir

Fekir can play as a midfielder or a forward and he’s been around many clubs. In his youth, he was at around 6 different clubs. These included Lyon, Saint-Priest and SC Caluire until he signed for Lyon’s B team in 2011. He made 63 appearances and managed 13 goals until he was called up to the first team in 2013. He’s been there ever since with a total of 144 games and 54 goals.

Now it is being said that Arsenal has the chance to sign him for £30 million. The price looks promising and the player may be interested as he was supposed to sign for Liverpool last season but the deal never went through so he could be passionate about a change. 

Who should Arsenal prioritise?

  • Nabil Fekir (71%, 101 Votes)
  • Wilfried Zaha (29%, 42 Votes)

Total Voters: 143

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Photo Credit: tribuna.com

2 things Man Utd can expect from Wan Bissaka

Manchester United have sealed the £50million deal for Crystal Palace’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka, what can he offer the Man Utd squad?

Speculation turned into reality as Wan-Bissaka has been officially unvieled today as a Manchester United player.

Manchester United and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are heading off to Australia for their pre-season tour on July 7 2019, and with Wan-Bissaka will be joining them on the plane.

£50million is a hefty price tag for a 21 year-old defender who is yet to break through to his national side. However, here is what Wan-Bissaka can offer to Solskjaer’s red army.

Defensive Mastermind

Wan-Bissaka must be flattered that there is an ongoing argument about who is the Premier League’s greatest right-back between himself and Liverpool’s Alexander-Arnold. Wan-Bissaka had a break-through 18/19 season with Crystal Palace, where he averaged an incredible 4 tackles per game, and holds an equally incredible record of winning 96% of his tackles.

As a former winger, Wan-Bissaka has admitted that it helps his defensive decisions as he tends to know what the winger he is up against is going to do. He also has a knack for forcing wingers to the outside, killing any opportunity for the winger to cut inside, making their moves all the more predictable.

On the floor football

Crystal Palace operate with very static full-backs, resulting in us not seeing much action from Wan-Bissaka taking the ball forward. However, his ability to pick out passes from the full-back position has been pivotal to the way Palace moved the ball forward. At Manchester United, it is expected that we will see him have more opportunities to run the ball forward, and using his passing abilities further up the pitch.

LOWDOWN: Who is Man Utd target Denzel Dumfries

It appears that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may prefer an attacking full-back in Denzel Dumfries over the defensive-minded Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

If you’ve never heard of Denzel Dumfries, you may recognise him from the recent UEFA Nations League Semi-Final as part of the Dutch setup that snubbed out England. Dumfries had a good game at full-back, proving to be a handful for the likes of Sterling and Sancho.

He had an impressive season in the Dutch League ‘Eredivisie’, being in every starting 11 for PSV Eindhoven with 34 appearances which involved 4 goals and 7 assists. Comparing this to current full-back Ashley Young’s 2018/19 Premier League season, which saw the Manchester United captain bag only 2 goals and 2 assists in 30 games. It shows that this young Dutchman could provide more for this underperforming Manchester United attack, which desperately needs the ball on a plate in order to score goals.

Should Ole Gunnar Solskjaer entice a world-class centre-back to Manchester United, such as De Ligt, Maguire or Koulibaly. It may allow more room for a free and attacking full-back, whilst a solid defender can cover for him behind.

According to very recent reports, Manchester United are looking to sign the young Dutchman Denzel Dumfries, 23 years of age, for around £25million. Half of what Crystal Palace expect for the services of Aaron Wan-Bissaka. By saving £25million on the right-back position it should allow Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to spend bigger in other areas, especially with the rumoured departures of the big names at Old Trafford including the likes of Paul Pogba, David De Gea and Romelu Lukaku.

It is clear that Solskjaer is somewhat trying to replicate the old-school setup of Manchester United. Having recently acquired the Welsh winger Daniel James, who will be crucial to Manchester United’s counter-attacking format.

Denzel Dumfries comes at a much lower price than Wan-Bissaka despite being two years older, but this is due to Wan-Bissaka being young, English and Premier League proven. Wan-Bissaka would surely bolster the arguably terrible Manchester United defence, but Solskjaer may risk this in order to develop a more fast-paced and counter-attacking Manchester United unit.

Two Reasons Why Norwich City’s Max Aarons Is Worth The Punt For Man Utd Over Wan-Bissaka

Should Ole Gunnar Solskjaer go straight for Palace’s Wan-Bissaka or steal the man they wish to replace him with?

According to reports, Manchester United have had a £40million bid rejected for Crystal Palace’s wonder kid right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who are holding out for a price in the region of £60million.

As a result of the pressure from big clubs showing a keen interest in Wan-Bissaka, Crystal Palace have been linked to the man who won Young Player of the Season award, Max Aarons, whose name featured in the overall EFL Team of the Season.

However, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal have joined the race in capturing the 19 years young full-back, Max Aarons. He is currently contracted at Norwich City who are asking for around £15million for his services.

Here are two reasons why Max Aarons may be a better signing for Manchester United than Aaron Wan-Bissaka…


After Crystal Palace countered Manchester United’s £40million offer for Wan-Bissaka to a much higher £60million, it may be the case that the two clubs do not see eye-to-eye on the value of the player. Crystal Palace’s interest in Max Aarons as a Wan-Bissaka replacement, as well as the accomplishments the young full-back as achieved already, shows that the top clubs believe that Aarons can or may evolve into a player that can provide the quality of service that Wan-Bissaka does.

Diogo Dalot

Diogo Dalot has been an exciting prospect for Manchester United, demonstrating value to the club in his first season with them. At only 20 years of age himself, the young Portuguese brought in by ex-manager Jose Mourinho proved pivotal to Manchester United at crucial moments. One example being the shot resulting in the penalty that saw Manchester United progress in the Champions League in their famous victory over PSG.

With both Dalot and Max Aarons in the side, there would be two promising young full-backs competing for the spot that will be left for the taking by the 33-year-old ex-winger and current full-back Ashley Young.

Two Out Of The Box Alternatives to Sebastian Haller for Man United

Rumour has it, Manchester United may need to find themselves a new striker. Romelu Lukaku has been linked with Inter Milan this week and it seems United are looking somewhere in between the £70 million to £80 million mark for their Belgian forward.

With that in mind, United have started to look at potential new replacements. The biggest link so far comes in the form of Sebastian Haller who scored an impressive 15 goals in 23 Bundesliga starts last season.

Finding a goal scorer is a must for the Red Devils as a disappointing end to last season saw Rashford, Martial and Alexis Sanchez all fail to find the back of the net in the last 9 games. Andy Cole has even weighed in on the matter saying, “Solskjaer must prioritise the signing of a striker this summer,” but who else should United be looking at?

Che Adams

Why not have a look at Birmingham City’s striker for a bit of hope. The 22-year-old scored 22 goals and got 5 assists last season for the blues. He’s been regarded as one of the best strikers in his division this season and it may not be too much of a gamble if United add him to the list of people they’re looking at.

They may have a fight on their hands though as Southampton have shown some interest in the forward. Crystal Palace has also shown some interest but Birmingham rejected an £8 million bid from Southampton today suggesting it’s either not enough or, they aren’t ready to give up their goal scorer. Maybe Solskjaer should put in a higher bid but the ball would need to start rolling soon as more teams look into the 22-year-old.

Oliver McBurnie

To buy United some time, they could consider the Swansea forward. While Inter Milan decided whether Lukaku is the man for them, McBurnie doesn’t seem to be gaining too much attention from any other teams, this would give Solskjaer a bit of time to weigh up the situation.

McBurnie managed to net 24 goals in 44 games last season for Swansea and he’s also played for Scotland. It wouldn’t be a bad option for the Red Devil’s and, he may be a cheaper option to getting United back in the highest positions of the Premier League again.

Whether Lukaku stays or goes, United need to find goal scorers either way. Goals win games and it’s something they’ve lacked for a while.

Is Man United Target Wan-Bissaka Worth 50m

After a more than an impressive first season, Crystal Palace star full back Aaron Wan-Bissaka has unsurprisingly received interest from a host of top flights clubs.

The 21-year-old fullback holds an impressive resume boasting the second most interceptions and, the third most tackles out of any other player in the 2018/2019 season.

Illustrating his talent, Wan-Bissaka has demonstrated he epitomises the modern full back. With United’s reported opening bid of £25m likely to be rejected, one would expect Palace to ramp up the price on his head to a figure at least around the 50m mark. The fact he is English will add weight to the price tag, bearing in mind the amount of money homegrown players currently exchange hands for in the Premier League.

However, does just one breakthrough season justify the inflated price tag?

Perhaps if United are not willing to pay, other clubs may not hesitate to pay the expensive sum. Thus, leaving Solskjaer to not risk taking any chances, especially since Antonio Valencia’s departure has left a space at RB and Diego Dalot’s recent performances defiantly suggest he could do with some friendly competition. With Manchester City chock-full of full backs and Chelsea stranded in a transfer ban, United may be at the forefront to sign the young prospect.

Amid the state the Red Devils are in, is Solskjaer willing to risk out on losing a seemingly promising player. It is impossible to say Wan-Bissaka is worth £50m after just one season, however, if United do not pay this maybe someone else will. Although you would think United could outbid rivals Spurs and Arsenal in a bidding war.

Let’s also remember United paid circa £30m for Luke Shaw four years ago, and City will often pay £40 – £50 for full backs. At 21 years of age, he may not be worth the extortionate sum, but in modern market conditions, the risk of not meeting this amount could mean United could miss out on one of England’s hottest prospects.

Man City Will Hope ‘Not To Do a Liverpool’ at Crystal Palace Today

It feels to me like it was the reverse leg of this fixture was the match that really opened the door to Liverpool’s league challenge, when Roy’s men saw off the boys in blue in a thriller with a somewhat shock result of 3-2.

Crystal Palace, like most Roy Hodgson sides, are incredibly well organised and they are comfortably mid-table this season, and have been playing well pretty consistently this season, including against some of the bigger teams.

Manchester City looked sluggish against Tottenham, and remaining in all competitions, with some of the star players blighted by injury will have started to take its toll. Manchester City head to Selhurst Park, (possibly my favourite ground in the Premier League) this weekend and with Liverpool looking to take this right to the wire City can’t afford to let things slide here.

It’s stating the obvious to say a squad of Man City’s calibre should see off Crystal Palace with the minimum of fuss, however, playing Hodgson’s disciplined sides can frustrate teams, and Manchester City have found this season that plenty of opposition haven’t really played against them, more sat back and aimed for damage limitation.

Hopefully this won’t be the case for this game, as it was not the case in the reverse fixture, which saw Crystal Palace capitalise on good fortune and was an excellent game for the neutral, less so the City fan.

Manchester City are two points behind Liverpool with a game in hand, and 14 points clear of third placed Chelsea, who Liverpool are taking on this weekend. Champions League football is signed, sealed and delivered for next season, but I’m sure like many fans of, well, nineteen of the twenty premier league teams, I really want to see City keep well clear of Liverpool.

It’s been a fantastic race between the top two since Christmas, and I’m hoping this will be another exciting, as well as completely crucial game.

TWO EPL Fixtures That Man City Must Win In April To Keep Title Dreams Alive

Man City’s quadruple hopes are still very much alive, and they face a season, if not history defining April. In which, they have Premier League, FA Cup semi-final and a two-legged all English Champions League quarter final to overcome.

It’s been a toe-to-toe battle with Liverpool this season, with both sides edging in front at different times of the campaign. City currently trail Liverpool by two points, but they do have a very important game in-hand over their North West rivals against no other than their Manchester neighbours United.

While Pep will no doubt be in the hunt for all three remaining trophies, however, retaining the Premier League for the first time would be a huge achievement. In order to keep in the hunt and on Liverpool’s tails, City have some tricky and big matches throughout April.

They entertain Spurs home and away in the Champions League fixture in April, with a FA Cup semi-final against Brighton near the start of the month alongside five Premier League matches – including a mouth watering Manchester derby.

However, there are two matches that are a must win for the Citizens in order to strengthen their chances of retaining their title come the end of the season.

Let’s take a look at the two fixtures in question…

Retro Football Cushions

Away v Crystal Palace – 14th April

Always a tricky place to go to and one that could be a potential banana skin for Pep’s City side – We all remember Liverpool under Rodgers!?

Pep will not want a similar story to be the headline come May. Palace on their day can mix it well with the big boys as well as City know, especially after the 3-2 defeat back in December.

A win away at Selhurst Park will make a huge statement in April and one that could go a long way in the title race.

Away v Man Utd – 24th April

It’s a tough call between this match and the Spurs match. However, as this is the game in hand over Liverpool and a Manchester derby – it edges it.

Away at a rejuvenated United side is going to be a tough fixture, but one that City have to win in order to keep either keep the pressure on or keep the distance between them and Liverpool – given the situation at the time.

This game in hand could be the title defining game. It’s going to be a tough test for City, but every game throughout the month are tough tests that Pep and his players have to overcome in order to write their name in the history books once again.