Crystal Palace will be embarrassed to see an ‘incredible’ player sign for Leeds

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Crystal Palace will only have themselves to blame as Flynn Downes joins Leeds United and enjoys a remarkable rise a la Kalvin Phillips, Patrick Bamford and Luke Ayling at Elland Road.

Accordingly The timesLeeds are exploring a summer deal for the Swansea City playmaker and see the former England Under-20 international as a potential successor to the much-admired Kalvin Phillips at the heart of Jesse Marsch’s engine room.

If Crystal Palace had their way, Downes would already be a one-season Premier League player. After all, Palace have made two bids for the Brentwood-born 23-year-old in the summer of 2020.

WORST Premier League signing EVERY season (1992-2022)



WORST Premier League signing EVERY season (1992-2022)





But while the Eagles are hardly among the top flight’s biggest donors, Ipswich Town were understandably amused when Crystal Palace refused to break the £2million mark for a player they clearly valued highly enough to make a series of making offers.

“The money (offered by Palace) was not good,” then-Ipswich boss Paul Lambert explained at the time. “The money wasn’t nearly good enough. The offer itself was absolutely nowhere near.”

This was not a classic case of a club standing firm and not wanting to bow to pressure.

Lambert made it clear that if Palace would have made an offer which the giants of League One thought acceptable, Downes would now be plying his trade at Selhurst Park.

“If they came up with an incredible offer and Flynn went, then that would be brilliant for Flynn,” adds the former Wolves and Aston Villa boss.

“I’m not going to sit here and deny a young kid a chance to go to the Premier League or anything. But the money had to be right for the football club.

“This club can’t stand in the way of a young kid when the money is really, really good.”

Is Flynn Downes finally going to the Premier League?

Crystal Palace may be hinting that Ipswich accepted a mere £1.5million offer from Swansea City in August 2021. A fee that actually was fewer as the second offer the Eagles made about 12 months prior.

But Downes had just one year left in his Ipswich contract at that point. And the Tractor Boys had no choice but to accept. £1.5m isn’t much, at least in modern football, but it’s still better than nothing.

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How much Leeds would have to pay to sign Downes after just one hugely impressive season in South Wales remains to be seen.

But when one of the EFL’s most technically gifted midfielders develops alongside or perhaps into a high profile star instead ofKalvin Phillips, then Palace might wish they could turn back the clock.

“Unbelievable,” Swansea manager Russell Martin recently spoke about Downeswhich highlights the qualities that make the 23-year-old an ideal addition to Marsch’s hard-running midfield.

“It’s difficult to single out people, but he does the dirty work perfectly. He empowers other people to fulfill their roles brilliantly.

“He has an excellent willingness to learn, his attitude, attention to detail and learning speed are outstanding. He plays in a very different role than at his previous club.”

Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

In other news: ‘I saw Everton do the same’: David Moyes lays claim to Tottenham’s tactics Crystal Palace will be embarrassed to see an ‘incredible’ player sign for Leeds

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