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Parish “in discussions” for Palace’s first Jan signing, he’s exactly what Vieira needs – opinion

Crystal Palace are seemingly closing in on their first signing of the January transfer window, with reports suggesting that they are in negotiations with Stuttgart for midfielder Naouirou Ahamada.

What’s the word?

According to The Athletic‘s Crystal Palace correspondent Matt Woosnam, the Eagles are “in discussions” with the Bundesliga club over a deal for the breakout star.

He tweeted: “Palace are in discussions with Stuttgart over a deal for 20-year-old midfielder Naouirou Ahamada. In an ideal world, they hope to sign a right-back, centre midfielder and striker this window but won’t do deals for the sake of it.”

Patrick Vieira is clearly in need of another central player in January to support Cheick Doucoure in the middle of the park. Therefore, it is easy to see why they are targeting a promising youngster such as Ahamada this month, with the Eagles’ form rapidly deteriorating since the World Cup break, having won just one of their seven matches over the past month.

Exactly what Vieira needs

After making just three starts across the last two Bundesliga seasons with Stuttgart, the youngster has established himself as a regular in Bruno Labbadia’s side so far this term.

In 16 appearances in the current top-flight campaign, the Frenchman has netted two goals and averaged a 6.48 rating from WhoScored for his performances.

WhoScored add that the young midfielder excels at long shots, dribbling, concentration and blocking the ball, which suggests that he could be something of an all-rounder, perhaps adding some attacking impetus to a goal-shy Palace outfit who are the sixth-lowest scorers in the Premier League.

FBref also shows that Ahamada ranks well with regard to goals per 90, progressive passes received and dribbles completed, which suggests that he could have a big impact in the final third.

Luka Milivojevic, James McArthur and Jeffrey Schlupp could all depart Selhurst Park in the summer when their contracts expire, which suggests that the Eagles desperately need new faces in midfield.

The likes of Jairo Riedewald and Will Hughes have both had very little involvement under Vieira (just one league start between them in 2022/23), which again emphasises how much the Frenchman needs reinforcements in the middle of the park.

With that in mind, Ahamada could be a good prospective long-term addition at Selhurst Park as the Eagles manager looks to continue revolutionising the squad that he inherited from Roy Hodgson.

Vieira has spoken a lot recently about the need for new players and it seems as if Steve Parish is close to completing Palace’s first deal of the month, and hopefully Ahamada can play a big part for the Eagles in the remainder of the campaign if he comes to SE25.

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