Developing young players before they are resold for a healthy profit and the funds are reinvested is an extremely viable way for midsize clubs to compete with the football elite – just ask Leicester City.
It’s a tactic Crystal Palace hasn’t used enough in its recent history, but a native talent has dramatically bucked the trend.
In the summer of 2019, Aaron Wan-Bissaka moved from his youth club to English giant Manchester United with a £ 49.5m deal.
Did Palace get a fair price for AWB?
Yes, in any case!
Under no circumstance!
“It is an incredible feeling and an honor to call myself a Manchester United player and I know that few players have the privilege to say,” said the 23-year-old after his reveal.
It was also a move that left his former club with an ear to ear grin. Wan-Bissaka had come to the Eagles for free as a youngster and rose through the South London Club’s academy before making his first-team debut in 2018.
After only 46 appearances in the senior national team for Palace, chairman Steve Parish was able to secure the highest transfer fee the Eagles have ever received for a player – and by a considerable margin.
However, it’s what the club’s boss did with the proceeds afterward that makes Wan-Bissaka’s departure so worthwhile.
One of the next two years brought Parish Eberechi Eze, Odsonne Edouard and Joachim Andersen all within the fee that Palace’s most profitable academy graduate got.
His departure left room in the budget for Marc Guehi, Will Hughes and Michael Olise to add to the roster of new manager Patrick Vieira so Palace can progress and dream of beating over their weight, much like Leicester.
Letting go of the £ 90,000-a-week wan-bissaka meant Parish got gold on the right-back sale, ensuring a better future for the Selhurst Park outfit.
In other news… 75% duels won, 96 keys: Palace Monster shines on the international stage