Just before the January transfer window closed, Palace were being heavily linked (alongside Juventus) with a move for Spezia star David Okereke and now it looks as though we’ll face further competition for him, should we actively pursue a deal in the summer.
The Nigerian frontman is still only 21 and has been in fine form all season long, drawing admiring glances from the likes of FC Copenhagen and Saint Etienne alongside the Italian giants Juventus. Given that level of interest you might wonder how Palace could possibly compete but with no other Premier League clubs seemingly that keen at the moment, we may have a chance of landing him if playing on these shores is a dream of his.
Whilst there was definitely talk of us making a move for him in January, his long-term contract, general inexperience and recent spike in form all led us to pursue other targets but once the season comes to an end, you may find that Dougie Freedman and the club’s scouts make a more coherent effort to bring the youngster to SE25.
As I’ve said previously, the gap in quality between the Italian second tier and the English top flight is a rather large one, making it extremely difficult to know with any level of certainty whether or not Okereke has what it takes to make the jump but depending on the size of the transfer fee Spezia demand, it may just be a risk worth taking when the summer rolls around.
Capable of playing as both an out-and-out striker and a winger, the Nigerian looks to be the sort of rough diamond who has so often flourished at Selhurst Park but at this stage, with little to go on other than statistics and reports of scouts showing an interest, it would be foolish of me to pretend to know whether or not he could make it in Roy Hodgson’s first-team.
We shall have to wait and see.