Crystal Palace linked with an ambitious move for Wolverhampton wing-back3 min read
Having built an exciting team of young players rather quickly, it is clear that Patrick Vieira is happy to play along with the need to reduce the average age of the side. For years, Palace had one of the most experienced squads in the top-flight in terms of age, and that was shown in the summer as many veterans moved on. This left the club with a chance to reset, to bring in young players who could fill out key positions. One position that has not been truly filled, though, is at left wing-back.
The exit of Patrick van Aanholt was seen as a challenging issue to deal with, and none of the arrivals have – so far – lived up to expectation. That has led to Palace looking to another full-back or wing-back, and one name being linked is already playing Premier League football. Rayan Ait-Nouri has been in fine form for Wolverhampton Wanderers this year, and has gathered a lot of interest from other clubs.
The player has been credited with an interest from not only Palace, but also other Premier League clubs. His arrival in October 2020 on loan was soon turned into a permanent deal as the youngster made it clear that he was good enough for the top-flight. A pair of assists and a generally positive effect on the attacking side of the game for Bruno Lage’s side has seen other clubs asked questions of Wolves about what it would take to sign the player.
Palace are seen as the favourites, with Tryick Mitchell the only full-time left-back on the books that they can rely upon. This could offer another rotational piece, or perhaps the chance to play most weeks would be what seals the deal for Ait-Nouri.
Will Palace land Rayan Ait-Nouri?
While it might seem odd to see a player so highly rated linked with an exit from Wolves, the club has made some odd choices in the transfer window before. The arrival of another Portuguese coach might see another Portuguese-speaking full-back arrive, putting Ait-Nouri on the bench. This could see the player – who is keen to keep progressing after a fine start to life in England – decide to move on before he is pushed down the pecking order.
The other team in England linked with a move for the wing-back is Newcastle United. The Toon are cash-rich but are in a poor position in the league, and might find it hard to convince players in more stable situations to sign-up for a relegation scrap.
Either way, it looks pretty likely that Palace will have a shot at landing a highly rated left-sided player who Vieira is known to be a big fan of. If they could land a deal in January it would offer even more competition for places, and likely play a major role in helping the player secure more international recognition.
Without as much depth as is needed to compete at this level, Palace are often linked with new signings. Ait-Nouri, though, is one that should excite fans of any persuasion.