Crystal Palace are interested in Lens midfielder Cheick Doucoure.
The Lowdown: Experienced Beyond His Years
Not many footballers can boast over 100 appearances for a club at 22-years-old, but Doucoure is not a normal player. The Lens Academy graduate has made 115 appearances for the French club, with 67 of them coming in Ligue 1.
He has made his presence felt too. His WhoScored league rating of 6.94 this season is the fifth-highest in his team, and he leads the way in both tackles and interceptions.
The Latest: Palace Watching Closely
Speaking to GiveMeSport, Daily Express journalist Ryan Taylor identified the Mali international as the type of player that the Eagles are looking at.
Taylor said: “It’s not going to be players that cost £25 million, it’s going to be sort of that £10 million to £20 million bracket.
“So, you need to sort of be cautious over what kind of quality you’re going to get at that price, and the best way to invest would be the younger players, as they’ve done. And they’re reaping the rewards of that now.
“I think Cheick Doucoure is one that they’ve looked at certainly.”
The Verdict: An Upgrade on Kouyate
The 5 foot 11 midfield general is in the top 10% of all Ligue 1 midfielders for progressive passes and progressive carries.
“What a complete display from Cheick Doucoure today against Nice. Key in Lens’ three goals and destroying everyone who got in front of him.”
The midfield maestro also contributes at the other end of the pitch. According to FBRef, the Lens’ ace has averaged more tackles and interceptions per 90 minutes this season than the Eagles’ current defensive midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate (4.89 vs 4.79).
With a current salary of £6k-per-week, Doucoure fits the profile that Patrick Vieira’s side are looking for, and would be an improvement on what they already have.