Vieira back with a vengeance as he urges Palace to ‘hijack’ midfielder transfer
Patrick Vieira wants Crystal Palace to win the race for a £20million-rated midfielder next summer, according to a report.
The Frenchman has enjoyed a great time at Selhurst Park since taking over in July. He has instilled an attacking style of play which is causing problems for their opponents.
Palace are unbeaten in their last five Premier League matches. Three successive draws have been followed by victories over Man City and Wolves.
Vieira’s summer signings have been key to that success. Defenders Joachim Andersen and Marc Guehi are helping to form a solid backline. Midfielder Conor Gallagher, on loan from Chelsea, is providing plenty of energy in the centre of the park. He is also popping up with goals on a regular basis.
Forwards Odsonne Edouard and Michael Olise are still getting used to life in south London. However, they look set to be important players under Vieira over the next few years.
A report from The Sun has now given an insight into the manager’s plans for the future. It claims that he wants to sign Fulham midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa in 2022.
The 25-year-old was deemed surplus to requirements at Craven Cottage earlier this year. That led him to join Italian side Napoli on a season-long loan.
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Luciano Spalletti’s side have the option to make the deal permanent in June. Fulham want £20m for his services but may be negotiated down as his contract expires the following year.
Vieira is keeping a close eye on the situation. He wanted to land the Cameroon international before he joined Napoli but had no luck.
Palace could ‘hijack’ Napoli’s move in the summer. They are preparing to go big for the defensive-minded player in a bid to improve Vieira’s options.
Palace will lose young talent Gallagher next season when the Englishman returns to Chelsea. Anguissa is a different type of midfielder but could help to lessen that blow.
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Vieira sings praises of Palace star
Following Saturday’s 2-0 win over Wolves, Vieira hailed the impact of Gallagher. The loanee saw a deflected shot beat Jose Sa in the 78th minute to secure all three points for his team.
That made it four goals in ten appearances for the England U21 international. “His performance has been terrific. He’s been excellent,” Vieira said. “Just about how he is closing people down. The energy he gives the team.
“Players like that who start the pressing and everybody behind him following. He’s in a really good period, scoring goals and working well for the team.”
On the team performance, the manager added: “We showed today we can improve as a team. This is what we wanted to so from the first game against Chelsea. Improving individually to allow ourselves to be more solid collectively.
“We showed maturity in the team. We made a step forward and it’s important for us to keep defending well as a team. Creating chances and trying to score goals too.
“I think if we keep winning games by scoring only in the second half I’ll take that. Obviously, we want to improve every part of our game and it’s important to analyse why we don’t score in the first half.”
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