Written by Jim Daly

Most Palace fans agree the team needs a new defender or two. Damien Delaney isn't getting any younger, neither is Brede Hangeland, and if Scott Dann gets injured - or god forbid leaves for Chelsea - there isn't much cover.

Which makes news that the club are tracking talented French defender Issa Diop a welcome report.

According to L'Equipe, the Eagles have sent scouts to watch the 19-year-old centre back on a few occasions and one was present for Sunday's game between Diop's Toulouse and Marseille.

Diop broke into the Tolouse first team late last year, making his debut on November 28th and he's kept his place there ever since, playing every game, 15 times in all. 

He has long been considered a talent, and has been capped at every level of youth football for France from Under-16 to Under-18. He is also currently part of the Under-19 squad, and is expected to step up to a more senior level before too long given his impressive form in Ligue 1.

He scored on his second ever appearance for the first team, a neat header at Troyes. Here's a video of that goal (with the Toulouse fans singing a very familiar song after he scores!...)

He'd certainly be an interesting prospect and would probably be exactly the sort of player Palace should be looking at. However, they might face competition in the summer for his signature, with Everton and Manchester United both also interested. 

Meanwhile, there were two other players in that Toulouse vs Marseille game (which finished 1-1 by the way) who have been linked with Palace. Marseille stars Michy Batshuayi and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou had previously been mooted as potential signings, but given the way the season has panned out it's much more likely the Eagles scout was there to watch Diop.

Still, we can but dream.