The name of Allan Saint-Maximin is one which has become extremely familiar to Crystal Palace fans over the course of the summer transfer window but after weeks of speculation linking the winger with a move to Selhurst Park, it now looks like he may be stolen from under our noses.
According to the above report, Watford have now entered the race for the Nice wide-man, taking up pole position in the race with little to no progress being made from Palace’s side of the negotiating table. Skilful, quick, quirky and still young, Saint-Maximin looks to be every inch the sort of player Palace fans adore but clearly, for whatever reason, there is pause for thought at boardroom level over whether or not to make a move for him.
With Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha currently occupying the starting roles on their flank for the Eagles, there is a genuine debate to be had over where ASM (indulge the acronym if you will) would realistically fit into our XI but for my money, we could do far worse than to start playing Zaha in behind a striker more centrally, with Townsend and the aforementioned Frenchman occupying the flanks. Is it a tad too gung-ho? Potentially but imagine the fear factor a front four like that would generate against sides outside the Big Six? We’re already famed for our threat on the counter and with Saint-Maximin in our ranks, that could be kicked up another notch or two.
It may well be that those behind the scenes at Selhurst Park view other positions (likely right-back and striker) as a more pressing priority as things stand, with the money we received for Wan-Bissaka’s sale having to cover two or three positions but even so, the thought of Watford nipping in to take the Nice star is a galling one having been linked with him so frequently ourselves.
How much are the Hornets likely to part with if they are to land him? My guess would be somewhere north of £25 million. Whether or not he proves to be worth that in the Premier League remains to be seen but for excitement alone, it’s certainly a move I’ll be jealous of if Watford pull it off.