Crystal Palace transfers: Eagles eye 11-goal star

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha and Eberechi Eze together

Crystal Palace have identified Peterborough forward Siriki Dembele as a summer transfer target, according to Football Insider.

What’s the latest news on Siriki Dembele?

Dembele has attracted interest in England and north of the border, with Fulham, Rangers and Celtic all reportedly monitoring the attacker.

Palace are also believed to be tracking him ahead of a potential move for the 24-year-old in the coming months.

How much is he worth and when does his contract expire?

It was reported back in January that Peterborough value Dembele at £3m, who handed in a transfer request that month but eventually ended up staying at London Road.

Dembele has just one year left on his contract, meaning that Posh may have to sell him this summer or risk losing him for free in 2022.

What are Dembele’s stats this season?

Peterborough confirmed their promotion to the Championship this past weekend, and Dembele has played a major role in getting them back to the second tier of English football.

As per WhoScored, he has scored 11 goals and provided 10 assists in League One this season. No Palace player has been directly involved in as many goals as Dembele in 2020/21.

Dembele’s dribbling statistics are simply jaw-dropping, with the striker managing 135 successful take-ons. Palace’s best performer in this category, Eberechi Eze, has managed a mere 56. 

What’s been said about Dembele?

Despite flourished at Peterborough this year, Dembele’s rise has not always been plain sailing. He struggled for game time last season, but manager Darren Ferguson has been impressed by the player’s ability to adapt from being a winger to playing as a centre-forward.

Speaking in 2020 to the Peterborough Telegraph, Ferguson said: “Siriki suffered because we changed to a system that didn’t use wingers and the lads flew up the league. When Siriki did get in he then got injured and then he had a suspension.

“But the boy has been absolutely outstanding since realising he can play as a central striker.”

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Can Dembele form a frightening front three with Zaha and Eze?

The Eagles have scored just 34 league goals this season, with Wilfried Zaha (10) netting almost a third of them. Meanwhile, Eze has seven goal contributions to his name. The pair have been hugely important in keeping Palace above the drop zone.

Yet if Zaha and Eze are kept quiet, it is not easy to see where the side’s goals are coming from. They need another dimension to their attack. Dembele can provide it.

The rising star has shown that he can score and set up goals this season. Although it is a considerable leap from League One to the Premier League, Eze has proven this year that it is possible to make the step up from a lower division to the top-flight.

If Palace can piece together a front three of Zaha, Eze and Dembele, they will trouble most defences in the league next year, and can realistically hope to achieve more in 2021/22 than simply surviving for another year.

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