Steve Parish and Dougie Freedman can continue Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise transfer plan

Crystal Palace should continue to utilise its successful transfer plan of recent seasons by identifying young talents from the Championship that can make the step up to life in the Premier League.

The Eagles secured the signature of midfielder Eberechi Eze from Queens Park Rangers in the summer of 2020 for around £16million before bringing in wide man Michael Olise a year later from Reading for £7million. Both have proved to be astute signings for the club, matching Palace’s quota of bringing in talented players with plenty of room to develop and with high potential resale values.

The business plan is sensible for a club of Palace’s size. The Eagles don’t have the financial weight behind them that many of their Premier League rivals in the top half of the table do, meaning they must be smart with the business they pull off – they can ill-afford to waste money on expensive players from abroad that might not suit the English game.

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Chairman Steve Parish and sporting director Dougie Freedman repeated the trick again in January with the signing of Luke Plange from Derby County for a fee of just £1million. Should he manage to also make the grade at Premier League level it would further justify the club’s reasoning for continuing to utilise the English second tier as a source for top talents.

The club have also signed several players off the back of impressive loan terms in the Championship, with Chelsea academy graduate Marc Guehi making the move to south London after a strong showing at Swansea. Similarly, Conor Gallagher’s loan spells at Charlton Athletic and the Swans also helped make up Palace’s mind to bring him to the club on loan last season.

And there are signs that Palace wants to repeat the trick again this summer, with Chelsea centre-back Levi Colwill on the club’s radar following an impressive loan spell with Huddersfield Town and 23-year-old Lewis O’Brien linked with a move to Selhurst Park following an equally impressive few seasons with the Terriers.

The Eagles could also keep up their record of Championship signings if they pull off a deal for free agent Sam Johnstone following his release from West Bromwich Albion. The England international goalkeeper is reportedly in contract talks with Palace already over a five-year deal, though other sides are said to be interested in his signature also.

There’s value to be found elsewhere in the league too. Sheffield United’s record signing Sander Berge is valued at around £14million (Transfermarkt), while Ben Brereton Diaz is reportedly the subject of interest from several Premier League clubs at the same price. Palace were previously linked with midfielder John Swift, who scored 11 goals and contributed 13 assists in 38 league games for Reading last season, though he is now on his way to West Brom following a free transfer from the Royals.

Whatever happens this summer, Palace could do much worse than to keep close tabs on the hottest talents coming out of the Championship. Should their acquisitions of Eze and Olise be anything to go by – the club can look forward to recruiting plenty more future stars ahead of their competition.

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