While there’s little doubting Luka Milivojevic’s influence at Crystal Palace, as his ice-cold 9 penalties scored last season attest to, perhaps he couldn’t control games as smoothly as a more expansive option would.
Indeed, considering that Roy Hodgson’s side only averaged 46.6% possession each game, Milivojevic’s 0.7 unsuccessful touches and being dispossessed 0.5 times per 90mins (WhoScored) suggests there could be improvement when it comes to dictating the tempo of games and keeping possession in the middle of midfield. Granted, he didn’t have a stable partner in midfield all season, but according to FootMercato, the Eagles are apparently looking to sign Seko Fofana from Udinese in the summer.
But can he actually help them control proceedings better than Milivojevic did?
Well, when looking into his superior 85.2% passing accuracy as compared to the Serbian’s 80%, clearly the 24-year-old can perhaps help them retain the ball and move it around more often. Moreover, four assists in Serie A, 1.2 key passes and 1.7 dribbles per 90mins (stats from WhoScored) show why Fofana can potentially be the influential figure the Eagles need to hold onto possession more often.
As the Guardian pointed out towards the end of the season, Palace are a rare example of a team who usually perform better away from home than playing in front of their own fans. In their piece, they talk about a reliance on a counter-attacking system, with Hodgson’s current system not affording space for someone who can put his foot on the ball to try and impose Palace onto the opposition.
So, with that in mind, perhaps a signing of this ilk would allow for a slightly more expansive style of play, which could, in turn, lead to more success at Selhurst Park.
Named among the top 50 best young footballers in Italy by The Guardian in 2017, the Manchester City academy graduate has clearly developed into a dynamic midfielder who could help evolve the Eagles’ style of play.
Palace fans, do you think Fofana can potentially help bring more life to the midfield next season? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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