Crystal Palace fans will surely be baffled by a bizarre rumour coming from very strong sources at Selhurst Park.
However, there was one section about the right-back situation which should annoy Crystal Palace fans…
What’s the story?
Well – according to The Athletic – Steve Parish and Dougie Freedman do not view the signing of a new right-back as a priority this summer.
Given the fact it is arguably our weakest area across the entire squad, that is certainly a concern.
In our view, it should be the No.1 objective this summer, not something that isn’t viewed as a priority.
The Athletic state that Joel Ward and Nathaniel Clyne have both had their contracts renewed, so that department of the squad is unlikely to welcome a fresh face this summer.
There is believed to be interest in bringing Aaron Wan-Bissaka back to Selhurst Park, although it is said that a deal would be quite expensive following his resurgence at Manchester United.
Therefore, supporters should expect to see Ward and Clyne battle it out to start at right-back next season.
Crystal Palace have to sign a new right-back
With all due respect to Ward and Clyne – who are model professionals – they are past their best, and are also arguably holding us back from being a stronger side.
Full-backs play a hugely significant role in modern football, as they can make all the difference going forward with their overlaps, while they are even tasked with slotting into midfield nowadays in addition to their defensive duties.
Ward and Clyne – aged 33 and 32 respectively – are decent defenders, but they are lacking when it comes to going forward and making their passes count.
That simply allows opponents to double up on Michael Olise down the right flank, as they rarely have an overlapping right-back to worry about.
In truth, we are nullifying one of our best attacking outlets by failing to sign an adventurous right-back to play behind him.
It makes sense to keep Ward and Clyne around given their vast experience behind the scenes, but a new starter is definitely needed in the right-back department if we want to progress next season.