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Crystal Palace should swoop for Manchester City’s Yaya Toure on a free

The Ivorian midfielder looks set to leave the Etihad this summer.

Max Cohen

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Yaya Toure
Photo: Getty Images

When Manchester City legend Yaya Toure was thrown on to the pitch with 25 minutes to go against Swansea City on Sunday, the City faithful were given a chance to celebrate the wonderful Citizens career of the Ivorian.

It was a perfect cameo for Toure, delivering a pinpoint chipped assist to Gabriel Jesus for City’s fifth goal.

Toure celebrated at the Etihad on the way to his third Premier League title, but he faces an uncertain future as Manchester City are unlikely to offer him a new contract.

The Metro reported that the 34-year-old wishes to remain in the Premier League, and Crystal Palace should seriously consider making a move for Toure.

Palace know all too well the supreme qualities of the midfielder. When Toure made his return from the exile Pep Guardiola imposed on him in November 2016, his first appearance came at Selhurst Park.

(Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

The Ivory Coast international absolutely bossed the show that match, scoring two emphatic goals en route to a 2-1 victory, after three months out of the first team squad. It was a timely reminder of Toure’s unique skills, which would be perfectly suited to Crystal Palace’s style of play.

Roy Hodgson’s side play matches with a high-intensity, all-action swagger, and the coolness and relentless drive of Yaya Toure would slot in seamlessly. Toure would also add an experienced head to the Eagles, with lengthy spells playing for the best teams in the world.

Even though Toure is 34 years old, he still possesses a superb reading of the game and tremendous work rate. He is truly a box-to-box midfielder, running back to snuff out danger one moment, and striding forward and leading the attack the next.

A move to Selhurst Park would suit both sides, as the Ivorian wishes to keep his young family settled in England. Crystal Palace would do brilliantly to acquire the services of the three-time Premier League champion, a transfer that would lead them to the top-half of the top-flight table.

Max is a journalist studying at the University of Pennsylvania. Max specialises in English football and co-hosts a weekly podcast. He is also a politics reporter and deputy news editor for The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Crystal Palace

One winner and one loser as Bakary Sako rejects new Crystal Palace contract

The 30-year-old has rejected a new deal at Selhurst Park.

Max Cohen

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Bakary Sako
Photo: Getty Images

Earlier this week, Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson confirmed that winger Bakary Sako had rejected a new contract at the club.

The news came as a shock for many supporters, as Sako enjoyed a bright 2017/18 season at Selhurst Park and the club wanted to secure his services for the immediate future.

Sako is set to lose out from rejecting a new contract at the Premier League club, but one player who could be poised to benefit is rumoured transfer target Ollie Watkins.

Winner: Ollie Watkins 

According to The Sun, the 22-year-old Brentford winger has been linked with an eight million pound switch to south London, and Palace will be sure to pursue his signature even more vigorously after losing out on Sako.

Watkins is a dangerous winger who impressed last season at Griffin Park, scoring ten goals and notching five assists in 45 appearances for the Championship club.

A move to the Premier League beckons for the exciting winger, and due to Sako’s rejection of his contract, Watkins is set to benefit and could fill the Malian’s void.

(during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Burnley at Selhurst Park on January 13, 2018 in London, England.

Loser: Bakary Sako 

Just as teammate Yohan Cabaye bafflingly failed to extend his contract at Selhurst Park, Bakary Sako is set to make the same misguided decision.

At 30 years of age, few Premier League clubs are set to offer the Malian international a chance to play at the highest level. Palace had gifted Sako with a perfect opportunity to play more years in the top flight, but Sako turned them down.

His decision is especially confusing given the good form Sako had last season, scoring crucial goals against WatfordLeicesterBurnley, and Brighton from December to January before succumbing to injury.

A fan favourite at Selhurst Park, Sako will be missed both on and off the pitch, making his departure all the more foolish.

 

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Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace flop Steve Mandanda into World Cup final

The Frenchman played in the group stage against Denmark.

Mathew Nash

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France are into the World Cup final after defeating Belgium in the semi-finals last night. Les Bleus won 1-0 thanks to a header from Samuel Umtiti and will now face England or Croatia in the final.

Amongst the celebrations, Crystal Palace fans certainly noticed one face above others. Steve Mandanda was one of the first to run onto the pitch and celebrate with his team-mates.

The 33-year-old could now find himself winning a World Cup winner’s medal, two years after joining Palace and flopping at Selhurst Park.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Mandanda arrived on a free transfer from Marseille in July 2016 as he wanted a change after nine years at the Stade Velodrome.

But his time at Palace was a disaster, despite his previous heroics in Ligue 1. Mandanda played just 10 times for Palace, keeping one clean sheet, before having to undergo a knee operation in November. His last appearance came in a 3-2 loss to Burnley in November 2016 and did not play again for the Eagles.

Instead, he returned to Marseille last summer in a protracted deal that left Mandanda disappointed.


“Leaving Crystal Palace? Yes, it was hell.”

– Steve Mandanda on Crystal Palace exit


He went on to play 45 times last season, helping Marseille to the Europa League final. This is his fifth major tournament with the French national team and he even played against Denmark in the group stage.

Crystal Palace were right to make a move for Mandanda and he might have finally solved their goalkeeping problems. However, it never happened for him in London and Palace fans will be shocked to see him on the verge of a World Cup medal. Unless, England have anything to say about it.

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Yann M’Vila would be Yohan Cabaye upgrade at Crystal Palace

The Frenchman has been capped 22 times for his country.

Max Cohen

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Yann M’Vila
Photo: Getty Images

Earlier this summer reports from France Football linked midfielder Yann M’Vila with a move to Crystal Palace and, after Yohan Cabaye’s departure, there have been more links between the two parties, per Foot Mercato.

M’Vila would be an upgrade on Cabaye at Selhurst Park, as the midfielder is a combative deep-lying presence who also possesses superb vision.

The 28-year-old has been capped 22 times by France, an impressive accolade that reveals his quality amid a star-studded national team.

M’Vila featured prominently during Les Bleus’ Euro 2012 campaign and, although his last cap came at that tournament, his international record nevertheless reveals his quality.

A largely unsettled career followed his eye-catching spell at Rennes, as M’Vila bounced around Europe at clubs such as Inter Milan, Saint Etienne, and Rubin Kazan.

But while at Sunderland on loan in 2015/16, M’Vila enjoyed a stellar season, earning him the respect of the Black Cats faithful while keeping the club in the Premier League.

The Frenchman made played in every league match but one for Sunderland, scoring one tremendous free-kick and assisting five additional goals as he was integral in steering the Mackems to safety.


“[M’Vila] reads the game like Makélélé, has the presence of Vieira and can pass the ball like Yaya Touré.”

– former Rennes manager, Frederic Antonetti.


Although Sunderland failed to bring him back the following season, that decision was due to Ellis Short’s incompetence and many fans wanted him to return to the Stadium of Light.

His influential season in England is a good sign for Palace supporters, showing he can cut it in the Premier League and can operate effectively in difficult circumstances.

Surrounded by players of a higher quality at Selhurst Park, the Frenchman will thrive and provide Roy Hodgson’s side with an ideal mix of steel and panache in the centre of the park.

Crystal Palace should welcome M’Vila’s unique set of skills, which would represent an upgrade to their other departing French midfielder, Yohan Cabaye.

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