Sunday, November 27, 2022

Crystal Palace Planning Swoop For 25 Y/O Midfield Enforcer: Right Fit For Hodgson’s System?

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Bishwaraj Bhattacharyya
Former athlete. Now a journalist hoping to cover football no matter the league or country.

Crystal Palace are reportedly eyeing a summer move for Queens Park Rangers midfielder, Massimo Luongo. The 25-year-old is enjoying the best form of his career, scoring 4 in his last 6 Championship games along with an eye-catching display in the 0-0 draw to Australia against Columbia.

Luongo has managed 6 goals in overall 37 appearances for the Rangers this season, after managing just one in the last 2 campaigns with the White City-based club. His influence from the central locations has been significant for Ian Holloway’s team and will hit the spotlight come June.

He has been capped 34 times for the Australia national team and will be travelling to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Luongo is one of the promising youngsters to have come out of the Tottenham Hotspur Academy. He signed with the North London club back in January 2011 and made 9 and 13 appearances for the U18 and U23 sides respectively.

Prospects of senior team appearances were slim to none and Luongo was sent out on loan to Ipswich Town and Swindon Town for the 2012/13 season. He signed permanently with the latter in the summer of 2013 and went on to make over 100 appearances, scoring 14 and assisting 15.

Former Tottenham and QPR scout, David Magrone was quoted, “Mass is doing nothing different but the big change is that he’s been scoring and that gets you in the headlines. I have no doubt he has the capacity to play in the Premier League, and also in Europe, whether that’s in Spain or Italy. When I was at Tottenham (as chief European scout) Tom Carroll, Ryan Mason, Jake Livermore and Nabil Bentaleb all broke through. Mass is just as good, if not better than all of them – and that’s when he was at Tottenham.”

It will be a massive acquisition for Crystal Palace if they succeed in landing the midfield ace next summer. Luongo’s talents can come in handy when Yohan Cabaye makes the club exit following this season.

The Frenchman is running in the last year of his contract at Selhurst Park and talks of an extension have not come out of the club ranks. However, Cabaye plays a more offensive role than Luongo.

Read More: Crystal Palace Eyeing Up A Move For Norwich City Ace: Should Hodgson Make It Happen?

Roy Hodgson already has regular starters in James McArthur and Luka Milivojevic in the holding midfield role. The path for Luongo will open up further after Ruben Loftus-Cheek returns to Chelsea after this season.

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