Crystal Palace have had a relatively quiet transfer window by their normal standards but according to reports in Italy over the last 24 hours, the Eagles could be on the verge of securing one of Serie B’s brightest young attacking prospects.
David Okereke is a Nigerian-born 21-year-old striker who has been on the books at second tier Spezia since 2016. Having been playing in Italy since his teenage years, it’s fair to say that this season is the first in which he’s made a sizeable impact in Serie B but at what is still a tender age, that shouldn’t put anyone off.
In 16 league appearances for Spezia since the start of the 2018/19 campaign, Okoreke has notched up six goals and eight assists, meaning a direct involvement in one of his team’s goals for every 93 minutes he’s spent on the pitch. Whilst no one would suggest that Italy’s second division is comparable in quality to the Premier League, it remains an extremely impressive tally for a player of his age, with Palace far from the only club believed to be keeping tabs on him.
Most recently, Okereke and his teammates played out a 4-4 draw with Brescia; a game that was taken in by Palace scouts in the stands. Luckily for the striker, he performed well, bagging a goal and grabbing an assist along the road to securing a point. There have been some suggestions that Serie A leaders Juventus are also interested in him but for now, we can all hope that Palace have taken up residence at the front of the queue.
It’s unclear how much Spezia would be looking for to let Okereke leave but you can be sure that it’ll be nothing like as high as you would usually be forced to pay, were a comparable talent on the books of a Premier League rival.
We’ll watch this one with interest over the next 24 hours.