Crystal Palace transfer news: "Fantastic servant" set to be replaced by Patrick Vieira

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira deep in thought

The Sun’s Tom Barclay feels that Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira may look to replace the team’s right back Joel Ward in the near future.

Ward is into his tenth season at Selhurst Park, having joined the club from Portsmouth for just £585,000 back in 2012.

What’s the latest news involving Ward?

The 31-year-old has cemented himself as Palace’s first-choice right-back so far this term, playing every minute of their seven league fixtures to date.

He has been a consistent performer for the Eagles, receiving an average match rating of 6.67 from WhoScored. This sees him rank sixth when compared to his teammates.

However, the Premier League outfit focused on bringing in youth, while removing experience from their squad over the summer. The likes of Andros Townsend, Gary Cahill, and James McCarthy departed the club, and were replaced by Michael Olise, Marc Guehi and Conor Gallagher.

Barclay believes that Ward could be the next long-serving player to be moved on.



What has Barclay said about Ward?

Ward has made over 280 appearances for the South London club, and Barclay has praised the defender for his service over the years. With Vieira building a young, energetic side, though, he wonders whether Ward’s days could be numbered.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, Barclay said: “On the right-hand side at the moment, Joel Ward is a fantastic servant, very reliable, fantastic defensively, but is probably not technically the most gifted.

“And I imagine going forward, in this process that Vieira is trying to put in, they probably want a more creative, technically better right-back playing in that position.”

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Will Ward start against Arsenal tonight?

It seems very likely that Ward will retain his place in the starting XI for Palace’s trip to the Emirates this evening.

The 6 foot 2 full-back has done very little wrong in recent weeks, so there is no obvious reason for Vieira to drop him.

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The French manager does have former England international Nathaniel Clyne at his disposal, who could be putting pressure on Ward. Right now, though, it seems fairly clear that Ward is ahead of his counterpart in the pecking order.

Furthermore, Clyne is out of contract next summer, so it makes little sense to bring in a player who could be heading for the exit door in a matter of months.

For the moment, Ward seems fairly secure in his position at right-back, but it would not be a major surprise if Vieira delves into the transfer market in January to look for an upgrade on the versatile defender.

Read More – January Transfer Window 2022: When does it open, when does it close and which players are going to move?

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