According to a report in The Sun, (I know) Crystal Palace are leading the race to land Southend midfielder Dru Yearwood in January, thanks to Technical Director Dougie Freedman’s ties with the south coast club.
The 18-year-old has proven himself at League One level over the last year or so and is now an established member of the Shrimpers’ first-team having been on the club’s books since the age of 11. Whilst he remains at a crucial stage of his development, the call-up to England’s U18s in May will have been a huge confidence boost for Dru, as well as a positive check-point in the mind of Freedman as he watches on from afar.
A signing of this nature wouldn’t mean an immediate place in Palace’s first-team rotation for Yearwood but given the success the Eagles have had with young prospects over the years, (Wilfried Zaha & Aaron Wan-Bissaka spring to mind immediately) Dru is likely to see SE25 as an ideal place to grow as a professional and potentially fast-track his way into the Premier League.
Given the source of the story, you won’t be surprised to learn that we remain infuriatingly short on details at this stage. How much Southend would be looking for to part with Yearwood in January remains a mystery but you’d hope that Palace could tempt them into a sale for a reasonable fee. Signings like this may not offer much glamour but should they work out, they’re the sort of deals which go on to provide the bedrock of squads for years to come.
I and many other Palace fans have long wanted the club to be more imaginative and thoughtful in the transfer market, with moves like this fitting perfectly into that category. Without any further sources to back up The Sun just yet I wouldn’t hold your breath but if there is a degree of truth to it, I’ll be more than happy to see us move for Dru in the New Year.