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Crystal Palace: Further Cheick Doucoure talks held

Crystal Palace: Further Cheick Doucoure talks held -Crystal Palace News

Crystal Palace could soon agree a deal for Lens midfielder Cheick Doucoure after holding further talks with the French club. 

The lowdown

Palace are going in search of their first signing of the summer as they look to arm Patrick Vieira for his second season in charge.

They’re in the market for central midfield reinforcements, with Conor Gallagher headed back to Chelsea after his season-long loan move and Cheikhou Kouyate’s future uncertain following the expiry of his contract.

Doucoure played most of his football last season just in front of the defence as a no. 6, but he can also operate in a more advanced role in the middle of the park.

He joined Lens from Malian football club AS Real Bamako in February 2018 and has gone to make 131 appearances for the club, including 34 (33 starts) in the league last season.

The 22-year-old has two left years on his contract with the upper-mid table outfit and is valued at £13.5million by Transfermarkt.

The latest

The Daily Mail’s Simon Jones reports that ‘a deal is thought to be close’ after a fresh round of negotiations between the two sides.

Vieira knows Doucoure from his time as a manager in Ligue 1 with Nice and is confident that he’s well-suited to English football.

Steve Parish, Dougie Freedman and Co would apparently regard the signing as a major coup, should they successfully complete it.

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Palace fans, do you remember who scored your first goal of the season?

The verdict

Doucoure isn’t necessarily a midfielder who will score goals or provide assists – he’s only managed 15 G/A at Lens – though he does rank in the 75th percentile among positional peers in the top five leagues for shot-creating actions, so you would say he still makes a noticeable attacking contribution (via FBRef).

His main strengths are his ability to progress the ball through passing and carrying (he ranks in the 93rd percentile in both departments). Out of possession, he reads the game well, averaging 2.26 interceptions per 90 minutes (84th percentile).

How many signings do Palace need this summer?

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In terms of profile, he’s similar to Chelsea’s Jorginho and Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka, and so he’d be expected to add real class and steel at SE25.

According to talent scout Jacek Kulig, ‘smart scouting clubs’ will have identified Doucoure as a ‘combative, intelligent and consistent’ talent. What’s more, team-mate Seko Fofana has billed him ‘a complete player‘, while journalist Alex Lowy has marvelled at his ‘incredible‘ performances.

You can see why Palace would be so pleased to get this one over the line.

In other news, Palace are eyeing two Manchester United players.


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Article title: Crystal Palace: Further Cheick Doucoure talks held

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