Crystal Palace could continue their tradition of swooping for lower-league talent this summer, with a move for highly-rated Gillingham midfielder Bradley Dack priced at 2/1.
Eagles boss Alan Pardew joined the Selhurst Park club as a player from then-Non League side Yeovil Town and has shown himself keen to find a well-priced gem in the Football League and below.
With 15 goals from midfield for the Gills this season, Dack was voted League One Player of the Year for 2015-16 and has been tipped to make the step up to Selhurst Park. Here are three reasons why Palace should swoop for the 22-year-old.
It’s the right club for a young player like Dack to develop
The Eagles coaches have proved themselves experts at buying unpolished gems – like Dwight Gayle – on a budget and developing them.
Significantly, this isn’t a club where young players are expected to sit on the bench and wait for the odd appearance. 23-year-old Wilfried Zaha has already played 220 Eagles games and Connor Wickham has also grown as a player during his time with the club.
There’s every reason to expect that a young talent like Dack would enjoy games and growth with the club.
He promises goals (and more) from midfield
With 15 strikes this campaign, Dack’s finishing has been a major factor in collecting individual honours.
It’s the second successive season the Gills’ midfield maestro has hit double figures, with his striking prowess increasingly impressive.
Having produced a long-range cracker in the 3-1 win at Swindon, a goal-of-the-season contender in the 3-0 victory over Bradford and countless other excellent finishes in this campaign, he’d add strike power to an Eagles side who have struggled for goals recently.
That’s without even mentioning the 11 assists he’s provided for the Kent side this season.
The move makes sense for fans and finances
Gillingham may have rejected a £1.5m bid for the player from Bristol City in January, but that doesn’t mean they’re not open to a sale.
With the Croydon Advertiser claiming a £2.5m deal from Palace will be enough to please the Gills board,that would still represent terrific value for one of the Football League’s most promising talents.
And it would appear the Palace fans are keen on their club acquiring Dack, with a poll by the same paper reporting 73 per cent of Eagles devotees voted in favour of seeing their club acquire the London-born midfielder.
Newcastle United are the next challenge for Palace, as Pardew returns to the club where he spent a turbulent four years, with his current crop 14/5 for victory.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.