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Crystal Palace “in contact” with Cheick Doucoure

Crystal Palace have been in talks with RC Lens midfielder Cheick Doucoure’s representatives.

What’s the word?

That is according to journalist Fabrice Hawkins, who broke news on Twitter over Doucoure’s garnered interest.

Hawkins states that Crystal Palace and German Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg are the two clubs who are “very interested” in the young Malian man.

Mark Mechenoua of Goal.com states that the 22-year-old is Crystal Palace’s “priority” for next season.

Though at this point, Ligue 1 side RC Lens has not received any offers for their starlet.

A must-do deal

Patrick Vieira is right to pursue a deal for the £15m-rated gem who “fits the bill perfectly” according to freelance journalist Alan Rzepa.

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Can you guess which Palace player scored the most goals in all competitions during the season in question? Let's start with 2009/10...

Malian international Doucoure is noted as a native holding midfielder, though a formation switch to a 3-4-1-2 system at Lens recently has seen the 22-year-old function as a central midfielder – with Doucoure discovering his goalscoring touch in this position – most recently against Nice where he also bagged an assist.

His versatility and well-roundedness as a midfield player makes his potential capture even sweeter, with Vieira having options to replace Conor Gallagher or play Doucoure as a holding midfielder and allow Kouyate to drop into a defensive position in the Palace backline – something that has been on the mind of Patrick Vieira.

Doucoure has been described as “incredible” by Zach Lowy and it’s easy to see why, with the 8-cap Mali international achieving some astonishing numbers for his defensive acumen this season, with his average of two tackles won and 36% successful pressures per 90 placing him in and above the 90th percentile when it comes to positionally similar players plying their trade in Europe’s top 5 leagues over the last 365 days, as per FBref.

His successful pressure percentage and tackles won are particularly impressive in comparison to Palace’s current holding midfielder Cheickhou Kouyate, with the Senegalese man achieving just 30% for successful pressures, placing him in the 51st percentile, with his average of 1.5 tackles won seeing him ranked within the 55th percentile.

Palace could upgrade their holding midfielder spot for what could turn out to be a real bargain for the Eagles this summer.

In other news: Forget Olise: “Embarrassed” Palace flop who lost 64% duels badly failed Vieira vs NUFC – opinion

Article title: Crystal Palace “in contact” with Cheick Doucoure

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