Eagles swoop for Morocco defender

Eagles swoop for Morocco defender
Chadi Riad of Morocco celebrates after scoring the 0-2 goal during the FIFA World Cup 2026 CAF qualifiers soccer match between Morocco and Congo, in Agadir, Morocco, 11 June 2024. EPA/JALAL MORCHIDI

by Staff Reporter

Friday Jun 14, 2024. 12:53

Crystal Palace manager Oliver Glasner has secured his first signing with the arrival of Chadi Riad from Barcelona on a five-year contract.

The 20-year-old defender, who was born in Palma, Spain to Moroccan parents, made his senior debut for the Atlas Lions against Sierra Leone on 11 January 2024 and was part of squad that reached the round of 16 at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

Riad spent his formative years with Real Mallorca before joining Barca’s famed La Masia academy in 2019 and he went on to make a solitary appearance for the first team against Osasuna on 8 November 2022.

The youngster enjoyed a productive season on loan at Real Betis in 2023-24, featuring 30 times in all competitions for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.

Riad moves to Selhurst Park with the Eagles having made a strong finish to the campaign under Glasner, going undefeated in their last seven Premier League matches which included big wins against Manchester United (4-0) and Aston Villa (5-0).

“I’m really happy to join Crystal Palace. I was interested in coming here because of the history of the club, and the league in which it plays,” he told the club’s official website.

“They have been telling me how they played this year and I think it complements perfectly the way I play. The club has high-level players who are young and I have come here to follow their same trajectory, to grow as they have grown.”

Palace Chairman Steve Parish added: “As a full international at just 20 years old, Chadi is an exciting young player who we are delighted to be able to welcome to the club.

“His arrival adds quality to a squad already packed with talent and potential, and I look forward to seeing him contribute to the team this season and beyond.”

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