Crystal Palace are monitoring Flamengo midfielder Matheus Franca ahead of a potential move to the Premier League, according to reports.
What’s the latest on Franca to Palace?
The Eagles have Albert Sambi Lokonga, Jeffrey Schlupp, Luka Milivojevic and James McArthur all out of contract at the end of the season so Dougie Freedman and Steve Parish will need to enter the market to find central reinforcements, and the 19-year-old is one of the names to have been linked.
The Brazilian is an academy graduate at the Maracana Stadium having worked his way up through the youth ranks to become a regular feature of Jorge Sampaoli’s first-team, having made 45 senior appearances to date.
Globo Esporte reported that the Selhurst Park outfit sent a club official to watch the talented teenager in action just last week as they weigh up whether to make an approach, and whilst no offer has been made, nor talks held, they seem to have been impressed by what they saw.
According to Lance (via Sport Witness), Crystal Palace, alongside top-flight rivals Arsenal, are indeed “keeping tabs” on Franca ahead of the 2023/24 campaign. The Eagles are set to “continue to monitor” the midfielder following their scouting mission having already been “closely watched” in SE25 and at the Emirates Stadium. Flamengo’s “expectation” is that bids will arrive during the upcoming summer window so they are being “patient” and “waiting” for offers to be put on the table that exceed €18m (£15m).
Should Palace make an offer for Franca?
Franca is still at a very young age and obviously has no experience playing in England, but having been hailed a “sensation” by football editor Aaron Stokes, he would be a hugely exciting acquisition for the long-term future of Crystal Palace.
The Nike-sponsored gem, who is naturally an attacking midfielder, has clocked up 13 goal contributions (ten goals and three assists) in 50 appearances since the start of his career, and also has the versatility to play on the ride side of the midfield, out wide on the left wing and as a centre-forward.
The Rio de Janeiro native additionally ranks in the 99th percentile for successful take-ons and has recorded more shots in 2023 than any of his teammates, showing that even if he’s not always on the scoresheet, he’s constantly attempting to create chances.
Franca has helped secure two senior trophies at Flamengo so has already had a taste of what it takes to compete and be successful at a high level, and this is another wonderful quality that he could bring to the Premier League.
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