Crystal Palace are among a number of sides who have reportedly enquired about signing Juventus defender Koni De Winter ahead of the January transfer window.
What’s the word?
According to Tutto Juve, Palace, Southampton, West Ham, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach have all asked for information about the 20-year-old, with the view to bringing him in after the World Cup.
The £6.5m-rated youngster has been with Juventus since 2019 and has made two appearances for the first team in that time, with the majority of his game time coming in the Old Lady’s various academy sides.
This summer saw De Winter join Empoli on loan in Serie A and he has made eight appearances thus far, with Gli Azzurri sitting comfortably in 13th position in Italy’s top flight.
Vieira would love him
The Belgium U21 international may not have too much senior experience under his belt but he has certainly caught the eye on his rare appearances for Juventus’ first team, as Leonardo Bonucci testified last year after he started against Malmo in the Champions League.
Would De Winter be a good signing?
He said: “Koni had a good game, he played with personality; we had already seen him in London against Chelsea. He has no fear and this will be an advantage for his career.
“He must remain humble now, he has enormous room for improvement, he has a whole career ahead of him.”
Juventus legend Pavel Nedved also dubbed the defender “really strong” and this high praise from two of the best to do it in Italy over the past two decades certainly bodes well for De Winter’s career.
The versatile defender is capable of playing as a right-back and a defensive midfielder, which are two positions in which Patrick Vieira is currently short of options, so it is easy to see why the Frenchman might be keen on bringing De Winter to Selhurst Park in January.
Indeed, Vieira has had to play the likes of Michael Olise and Jeffrey Schlupp alongside Cheick Doucoure at times this term, with neither of those players out and out midfielders. As for the right-back berth, Nathaniel Clyne has struggled significantly this term, averaging the lowest WhoScored rating of any Palace player to start a game this term – a lowly 6.19.
With that in mind, Vieira would absolutely love to add a player of De Winter’s talent to the Eagles’ ranks, with his versatility a clear plus point to any move.
Furthermore, if he can be signed on a cheap deal and live up to his obvious potential, he could prove to be a very shrewd signing indeed.