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Crystal Palace: Patrick Vieira raving about James McArthur

New Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira has reportedly taken an immediate shine to tough-tackling midfielder James McArthur.

The 34-year-old missed the Eagles’ last 18 Premier League games last season after picking up a serious knock, and it seemed as though his time in south London was coming to an end.

Roy Hodgson’s departure after four years in the dugout marked a new era at Selhurst Park, and several experienced campaigners were allowed to leave before being replaced by young, exciting acquisitions.

It appeared as if there would be no place for McArthur in Vieira’s new-look, youthful setup, but the former Nice tactician has installed the Scotsman at the heart of his engine room.

Is McArthur Palace's best midfielder?

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Yes - 100%

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No way!

McArthur has started all seven of Palace’s top-flight fixtures to date, captaining the capital club on four occasions, and according to The Sun’s Tom Barclay, has won over his new boss through his influence both on and off the pitch.

Speaking about the Scot, Barclay told GIVEMESPORT: “When he was asked about him, bear in mind we all know what Patrick Vieira was as a player, he was raving about James McArthur.

“A real unsung hero, really, really likes what he brings. He’s not the captain, he’s a very influential player in the dressing room, helping other players adapt, particularly with all these moves and the younger players in the squad.”

And Barclay’s claim should delight Palace fans. Although McArthur has rarely grabbed the headlines during his seven-year stay at the club, scoring just 19 goals in 234 appearances, he has been instrumental to their success for many seasons.

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The fact he’s now making an effort to help the young members of Vieira’s side integrate into the team can only be seen as a positive for supporters too who will be keen to see the likes of Michael Olise and Odsonne Edouard dominate over the next few years.

On the pitch, as per WhoScored, the experienced midfielder averaged 3.2 tackles per league game last season, placing him second amongst his teammates for that particular metric, and also managed 1.3 interceptions, placing his fourth.

But McArthur was also effective with the ball at his feet. He contributed 0.8 key passes per Premier League fixture while also averaging 42.9 passes per match, the fourth and second highest tallies, respectively.

Despite his age, the Hamilton Academical academy graduate continues to put in consistently impressive performance in the centre of the pitch for Palace, and he could prove to be a vital cog in Vieira’s revolution. Fans should be pleased with his input, both on and off the pitch.

And, in other news…Signed for £9.45m, released for free: Palace endured transfer nightmare over 31y/o ace 

Article title: Crystal Palace: Patrick Vieira raving about James McArthur

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