Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace

Premier League • England

Crystal Palace complete Cheick Doucoure deal, as chairman emphasises ‘statement of intent’

Neymar alongside Cheick Doucoure

Crystal Palace have completed the signing of Malian midfielder Cheick Doucoure from Ligue 1 side Lens.

Doucoure has agreed to a five-year contract at Selhurst Park, the Premier League club have confirmed. His transfer will be subject to international clearance. Once that process is formalised, he will officially be Crystal Palace’s third signing of the summer.

Winger Malcolm Ebiowei and goalkeeper Sam Johnstone have already arrived on free transfers from Derby County and West Bromwich Albion respectively. Hence, although Derby will technically be due compensation for Ebiowei, Doucoure has become Crystal Palace’s first purchase since the transfer window opened.

He arrives at Crystal Palace having spent four seasons with Lens’ first team – two in Ligue 2 and two in Ligue 1. Last term, he played 34 times as his side came seventh in the French top flight.

As a result, he has earned a transfer to the Premier League. Crystal Palace have been wanting to strengthen their midfield after the end of Conor Gallagher’s loan spell from Chelsea. Now, although not a like-for-like replacement, Doucoure has arrived as one reinforcement.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Doucoure said: “I’m very happy. I feel a lot of joy and a lot of pride to be a Palace player.

“I’m proud to be at Palace today.”

Chairman Steve Parish believes his new recruit represents a “statement of intent” in terms of the ambition the club are showing.

Parish added: “Cheick’s arrival is yet another statement of intent, demonstrating our ambition to further improve the squad this summer.

“We are extremely confident that Cheick will adapt seamlessly to the rigours of the Premier League and that he will contribute positively to the squad, and I wish him all the very best for his time with us.”

This will be the eight-cap Mali international’s first taste of Premier League football. But as Parish has noted, hopes are high he can make his spell a success.

Crystal Palace keep building with Cheick Doucoure latest recruit

Palace underwent something of a rebuild last summer. But under the guidance of new manager Patrick Vieira, they did well to finish 12th.

They have not placed higher since the 2017-18 season. Therefore, a few more useful recruits could be beneficial as they seek to consolidate themselves in mid-table.

Going into the window, they knew they needed to add another option in midfield. Links with Doucoure date back to April and they have now arrived at the outcome they desired.

The club have not announced the transfer fee, but recent estimations suggested it would start at £18m and rise to £22m.

It could be further good business by a side looking to maintain an upwards trajectory under Vieira’s reign.

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