The cunning Arsenal and Crystal Palace summer swap transfer deal that could hugely benefit both clubs

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The Eagles could face a big struggle to hang on to some of their top talents this summer

The end of the season could hardly have come at a worse time for Crystal Palace. Rejuvenated under Oliver Glasner, the Eagles were soaring high over the final few weeks of their Premier League campaign, and strung together an unbeaten run of seven matches to sneak their way into the top half of the table. Had the Austrian arrived a month or two prior, we might even have been talking about a late bid for Europe.

But now comes the tricky part; retaining the services of those who have brought Palace this far. Already the club have fended off interest in their new manager from Bayern Munich, while the likes of Marc Guehi and Michael Olise continue to attract interest from a smattering of Premier League heavyweights with more money than decency. You could probably add Eberechi Eze to that list too.

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The Selhurst Park playmaker continues to carve out a niche as one of the most casually magical creative talents in the Premier League, and, like his teammates, is garnering plenty of attention as a consequence. Oozing with a velveteen quality and a knack for unpicking stubborn defences, his is a talent surely deserving of a top six move at some stage soon.

And while they may not be the most prominent of Eze’s mooted suitors, if the 25-year-old is to be prised away from Palace, the Eagles could do far worse than trying to subtly shuffle him in the general direction of Arsenal. The reason? Well, three words, two names: Emile Smith Rowe.

There is a general expectation that the Hale End academy graduate could be on his way out of the Emirates this summer. After tumbling down the pecking order following a tricky spell of injury, the common consensus seems to be that the England international is surplus to requirements in North London, and that he requires a change of scene to properly kickstart his ailing career.

To that end, Palace are among those who have been mentioned as prospective destinations for Smith Rowe, and while it is unclear at this stage whether they are monitoring him to supplement or replace Eze and/or the aforementioned Olise, the unfortunate reality is that certain decisions may be taken out of their hands in the coming weeks.

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If a big money offer comes in, there may prove to be limits to Palace’s resolve. And in that instance, the best thing they can do is try to ensure that they have a ready-made replacement locked and loaded as a means of softening the blow of his absence. Smith Rowe is very much a talent who could help them to achieve that.

And let’s not kid ourselves, a player-plus-cash deal for Eze would be something that hugely benefits Arsenal as well. While an attacking midfielder is not necessarily the most obvious priority for the Gunners in their recruitment drive this summer, strength in depth is a must if they are to ever topple Manchester City. Combine Eze’s pedigree with his versatility, and there is no way that he doesn’t improve Mikel Arteta’s squad ahead of yet another title push next season.

Of course, nobody associated with Palace would want Eze to leave the club, but at the same time, if he is to go, the best course of action is damage limitation. Smith Rowe, with all of the positive qualities that he boasts, would offer that and then some. At the very least, a swap of some description could be something to consider.

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