Crystal Palace were heavily linked with Weston McKennie in the summer of 2021 and given his impressive displays at the World Cup in Qatar, they will surely regret not signing him.
It was suggested by Italian outlet Tuttosport (as relayed by Sport Witness), that the Eagles were keen to sign the midfielder during the final few days of the summer transfer window, as Patrick Vieira looked to add to his options at Selhurst Park ahead of his first full season in charge.
However, McKennie would remain with Juventus, where he went on to make 21 appearances in Serie A in the last campaign, contributing three goals and averaging a solid 6.73 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
Given that Palace’s midfield so far this season has often consisted of just Cheick Doucoure, with natural attacking players such as Michael Olise, Eberechi Eze and Jordan Ayew often deployed alongside the Malian in the middle, it seems clear that the Eagles would have benefitted from a more natural midfielder such as McKennie in their squad.
The USA international has certainly shown his class in the first three fixtures in Qatar, playing a big part as Gregg Berhalter’s side qualified for the knockout stages after going unbeaten in Group B.
Would McKennie have been good for Palace?
The former Schalke 04 gem was particularly instrumental as they saw off Iran 1-0 earlier this week, with Sofascore awarding him a seemingly harsh 6.5/10 rating despite his two key passes, one of which proved incredibly important, as he found Serginio Dest with a beautifully flighted ball, who squared to Christian Pulisic to score.
After impressing in the stalemate with England, New York Times journalist Rory Smith was full of praise for his performance.
“Main winner so far tonight is Juventus, who will be getting ready to sell Weston McKennie to England in January. He should have scored, but he’s been exceptional so far.”
The “incredibly underrated” monster – in the words of talent scout Jacek Kulig – definitely could have offered a lot in Palace’s midfield, so they will be regretting not bringing him to Selhurst Park as he continues to shine in Qatar.