Hiroki Sakai would be a solid addition to Crystal Palace’s defence

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Crystal Palace are rumoured to be interested in Marseille right-back Hiroki Sakai, according to the Evening Standard

According to the report, Palace boss Roy Hodgson was keen on Fulham player Ryan Fredericks before he joined West Ham, and he is looking for a player to replace soon-to-be out of contract Joel Ward. 

The 28-year-old Sakai joined Marseille in 2016 and has been a mainstay in their defence ever since, and could be available for 12m pounds. 

Equally confident on the right or left of a back four, Sakai is a versatile defender that may not offer the pace of Fredericks but is an assured and calming presence at the back, with the ability to join the attack and grab an assist.

He is definitely more of a classical defensively-minded full-back than the current trend of wing-backs, but this could be ideal for Palace as it would ease the pressure on their pacy wingers who want to join the attack as much as possible.

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