Date: 31st May 2022 at 2:06pm
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Tom Barclay has told GIVEMESPORT that Crystal Palace are interested in Lens midfielder Cheick Doucoure as a replacement for Conor Gallagher.

Gallagher has been on loan at the south London club from Chelsea this season, where he has impressed.

The England international is the Eagles’ second highest scorer and his 7.08 WhoScored league rating is the highest in the team.

The Mali international has also done well this campaign, being in the top 10% of all Ligue 1 midfielders for progressive passes and progressive carries, and leading his side in both tackles and interceptions.

His teammate Seko Fofana has called the £9m-rated star a “complete” player.

“He is a complete player. He knows how to shoot from long-range, he knows how to make the final pass, he knows how to break the lines, he knows how to dribble.

“He doesn’t feel pressure zonally when maybe you should clear the ball or dribble. He’s strong defensively, and for me he has all the qualities to be at the highest level.”

Such performances have led to Palace being interested in the 22-year-old, and The Sun journalist Tom Barclay believes a deal will be completed.

“I’m not sure how much further on it is, but it’s definitely one they’re looking at. It’s very, very likely to be one they’re looking to get done.

“I think it’s a pretty good fee, he’s a good age at 22 and they’re looking for a midfielder.

“I think the high pressing element can be quite key, particularly with Gallagher leaving, so I’d be surprised if it didn’t come off.”

Our thoughts on Barclay’s Doucoure claims…

Gallagher was always going to be a hard player to replace for Patrick Vieira’s side, being second in the side for tackles, key passes and dribbles per game, and leading the league in pressures.

In addition, a comparison between the two players suggests that the Eagles are not going for a direct replacement.

According to FBRef, while Doucoure has less goal-creating actions, dribbles, and pressures per 90 minutes, he leads the Cobham Academy graduate in tackles and interceptions and progressive passes.

This suggests that the Lens Academy graduate will be playing deeper than Gallagher did, but he has also shown his potential in attack too.

In his Man of the Match display against Nice in April, where he got a goal and an assist, Spanish journalist Andres Onrubia praised his performance going forward.

“What a complete display from Cheick Doucoure today against Nice. Key in Lens’ three goals and destroying everyone who got in front of him.”

It will be interesting to see how Doucoure will play at Selhurst Park, but one thing that’s certain is that Palace are getting a very good player.

AND in other news, Crystal Palace “certainly” looking at £7.2m-rated marksman who’s like Didier Drogba…


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