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Crystal Palace can strengthen their midfield with Cheick Doucoure

Premier League outfit Crystal Palace are monitoring RC Lens midfielder Cheick Doucoure, according to the BBC, ahead of a potential summer move.

The 22-year-old has been a kingpin for the Ligue 1 outfit this term, making 34 appearances across all competitions this term with his side sat in eighth place.

Moreover, the Malian has scored one goal and registered four assists from defensive midfield this term and already boasts eight senior caps for Mali.

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It’s no surprise that Palace are being linked with midfielders ahead of this summer with both Cheikhou Kouyate and James McArthur’s contracts set to expire this summer whilst Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher will be returning to west London with his future hanging in the balance.

The 22-year-old has been excellent for the Eagles this term, scoring eight goals and assisting a further three from midfield. Although, the chances of the Englishman returning to Selhurst Park on a permanent basis next season look slim, with it reported last month that Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is keen to have the midfielder next term.

Therefore, Patrick Vieira’s midfield will need a major overhaul in the summer, and Doucoure could prove to be the perfect candidate.

Valued at £9m, the 22-year-old could make the move to England for a bargain fee. Moreover, in a performance against Nice last month, journalist Andrés Onrubia Ramos claimed that the Malian was “destroying everyone.”

Should Palace sign Doucoure?

Yes

Yes

No

No

In Ligue 1 this season, the defensive midfielder has averaged 67.4 touches a match whilst completing 48.2 passes at an accuracy of 87% and 1.1 key passes.

Furthermore, Doucoure doesn’t shy away from the dirty work, contributing two interceptions, 2.2 tackles and 0.7 clearances a game.

Compared to Palace’s current preferred option in that deeper midfield role Kouyate, the Malian’s stats are generally better.

The Senegal international averages fewer touches with 41.2 whilst completing less than half of Doucoure’s passes at 23.6 at a lower accuracy of 82%.

Although, the two midfielders offer very similar defensive stats, with Kouyate averaging 1.2 clearances a game whilst also making two interceptions and 2.2 tackles.

Vieira has already made his desire to bring down the average age of his squad, having signed 19-year-old Michael Olise, 21-year-old Marc Guehi, 21-year-old Gallagher and 23-year-old Odsonne Edouard last summer.

Therefore, signing Doucoure would make perfect sense in an area that must be strengthened over the summer.

AND in other news: Lost the ball every 2.4 touches: Palace flop who lost 63% duels let Vieira down again

Article title: Crystal Palace can strengthen their midfield with Cheick Doucoure

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