Despite going head-to-head with Southampton in a battle to avoid the drop, one of their young defenders has taken the plunge and joined us with the hope of earning a permanent switch in the not too distant future.
Having originally been born in Benin, 20-year-old Richard Bakary was spotted playing for Welling by Chelsea’s talent scouts back in 2012, going onto spend two years with the Blues before moving to Southampton in 2014.
Then 16, Bakary was earmarked as a potential star of the future by many behind the scenes at St Mary’s but has found the route to first-team football extremely congested and as a consequence, is now openly exploring the possibility of leaving the south coast outfit when his contract expires at the end of the current season.
Ironically, his arrival in SE25 has coincided with the emergence of Aaron Wan-Bissaka (another 20-year-old right-back) as a viable first-team option for Roy Hodgson and his coaching staff. After hugely impressive displays against Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea in succession, the right-back’s spot is now Aaron’s to lose but with Timothy Fosu-Mensah almost certain to return to Old Trafford when his loan deal expires this summer, Bakary may prove to be the ideal long-term replacement.
Those of you who watched Palace U23s 4-0 triumph over Cardiff on the official site yesterday will have had the opportunity to see Richard put in a performance that I’ll readily admit to being impressed by. Whilst I’m under no illusions about his potential arrival being agreed with an eye on the future, we could do far worse than offering terms to the full-back ahead of a summer of rather large changes throughout the squad.