According to the website of Italian sporting journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, Crystal Palace are looking to tie up a deal for Ajax winger Anwar El Ghazi in the coming weeks, despite interest from Liverpool and Aston Villa.
Still only 21, the wide man stands at an imposing 6’2, which, despite the preconceptions many will have, doesn’t appear to have had a negative effect on his ability to dribble with the ball and beat a man when the mood takes him.
Having signed for the Dutch giants from Sparta Rotterdam in July 2013, El Ghazi went on to make a name for himself during the 2014-15 pre-season campaign, where he bagged an incredibly impressive eight goals in just 150 minutes of football.
Since then, the Dutch international has gone from strength to strength in the Ajax side, making 80 appearances and netting 21 goals in the process. After scoring 10 during his first season in Amsterdam, Anwar made an incredible start to the campaign just gone, scoring six goals in the first four Eredivison fixtures, with two goals coming against Alkmaar, Willem II and Den Haag respectively.
Given the obvious star quality El Ghazi possesses, it’s little wonder that he’s attracting interest from these shores, but if Palace are to win the race for the in-demand winger, they will have to convince him and his agent, (coincidentally the same man who represents Jose Mourinho) that we’re a better fit for him than Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool or an Aston Villa side who will be desperate to bounce back into the Premier League at the first time of asking.
As you can see from the brilliantly put together video attached at the top of the page, El Ghazi’s direct, pacey style of play would almost certainly be perfectly suited to the tactical set-up that Alan Pardew already has in place with the likes of Yannick Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha, albeit with an instantly more potent goal threat.
There has been no mention of the proposed transfer fee from Ajax, but Premier League clubs having often looked towards Holland as the perfect place to pick up a bargain or two over the years, there is no reason to suggest that we wouldn’t be able to cover the sum necessary to bring El Ghazi to SE25 if it’s a move all parties are keen to push through.
I for one, would love to see this happen.