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Club Captain Milivojevic Could Depart South London

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Luka Milivojevic wearing Palace away kit

After a season in which he didn’t play a lot, there’s no surprise that there are rumours that Luka Milivojevic may be leaving the club. He wasn’t fit for the entire season, but even when he was, since Patrick Vieira came in he has fallen down the pecking order.

James McArthur, Cheikhou Kouyate, and last summer’s signing Will Hughes have all been preferred to Milivojevic in the defensive midfield role. The Serbian is still only 31 so he’s still got time left in the top flight and might have the opportunity to prove this as newly promoted west London club, Fulham are supposedly interested in signing him.

But, according to the Greek website transfergeeks.gr, Palace have already agreed to a deal with his former club Olympiakos for €3.5 million euros (just under £3 million). 

One of The Eagles main transfer targets this summer is the defensive midfielder Cheick Doucoure from French side Lens. If Palace bring in the 22-year-old for £15 million it’s clear that Milivojevic won’t be at the club next year.

It’s already been seen that James McArthur will sign a new deal with the club after his contract expired and the club are still in talks with Kouyate on whether he’s going to stay or not. With Will Hughes as well, it will mean Milivojevic won’t be getting much game time again.

The Serbian only has a year left on his contract and Palace would prefer to get some money for him rather than have him stay, not play and then leave on a free at the end of next season. With only nine starts throughout the whole season, it’s looking more likely that he’ll leave south London this summer.

Unfortunately, he was booed by some Palace fans at the player of the year awards in May so it would be sad to see him leave on these terms. Though, this was probably only a minority of supporters. It seems like a good time for both parties to agree on the player’s departure and we think that will happen.

He’s talked about a move back to Serbia at some point in the future:

“Honestly, at the moment I haven’t decided what I want. I think soon I will have to start [deciding], but I’m not in a rush. If I want to stay in football I will try to be involved. If I don’t want to stay in football I will try to enjoy life with my family. I have a lot of hobbies, fishing, a lot of stuff, and want to maybe spend time in Serbia. So we will see. I’m not in a rush and there are plenty of years in front of me.”

But unless a Serbian side comes in for him, we doubt that he’ll go back there until later in his career or after he retires. The return to Greece with Olympiakos looks like the most likely option at the moment.

Transfer News

Sam Johnstone Signs For Palace on a Free Transfer

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Sam Johnstone in new Palace kit

Crystal Palace have confirmed that former West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper, Sam Johnstone, has signed for the club. He joins Palace on a four-year deal after leaving the former Championship team on a free transfer.

Johnstone came through the Manchester United academy and spent time on loan at multiple Championship clubs including Aston Villa before he signed permanently for West Brom in 2018.

During his spell with the Baggies, he has earned England call-ups and featured for his country three times. He was also part of the Euro 2021 England squad that lost in the final to Italy.

Here’s what Johnstone and Parish had to say on the deal.

Johnstone said: “I’m really excited to be here at Crystal Palace. It’s a great club with fantastic facilities and brilliant supporters – I can’t wait to get started.”

Club chairman Steve Parish said of Johnstone’s arrival: “Sam is a player that we have admired for some time, and we are extremely pleased to welcome him to Crystal Palace. His extensive experience at club and international level, alongside his outstanding ability, will add even greater depth to our goalkeeping unit.”

The announcement also acted as the unveiling of the 2022/23 goalkeeper kit after the away kit was revealed last month. The kit has the new sponsor cinch on the front and is made by Macron the new technical kit partner.

Johnstone will compete with Guaita for the number one spot in goal which will mean that Jack Butland will most likely leave the club. Butland played in the FA Cup matches for Palace last season as well as when Guaita was injured.

Check out our dedicated transfer news category page for the latest CPFC transfers.

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Transfer News

Malcolm Ebiowei Becomes Palace’s First Summer Signing

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Malcolm Ebiowei Applauding Derby County Fans

Crystal Palace announced on Sunday that the first signing of the summer is Malcolm Ebiowei on a five-year deal. He joins the Eagles after spending a year at Derby County where he impressed after getting his first senior start in February 2022.

He will become a Palace player from the 1st of July where he’ll join former Derby teammate Luke Plange who signed back in January before being loaned back out.

As a youth player, he started his journey at Arsenal’s academy before spending some time at Rangers. At the end of the 2021/22 season, he’d racked up 16 appearances in the Championship and was on the radar of other Premier League clubs including Manchester United.

Crystal Palace have shown in recent years that they have a robust model for developing young players from the Championship so this would have helped influence his decision. You only have to look at Eze and Olise to see two recent examples.

Ebiowei has played for both England and the Netherlands at youth international level. So, if he keeps advancing at this rate, he’ll have a decision to make on who he plays for at the senior level.

As his contract with Derby runs out at the end of June, he’ll join on a free transfer, although Palace will pay a compensation fee to Derby due to his age. Usually, this fee is decided upon at a tribunal but it was announced that a fee was agreed upon directly between the two clubs.

Ebiowei expressed his gratitude to Derby by saying: “I’d like to thank everyone at Derby County for their incredible support over the last year or so, and for giving me the opportunity to show what I can do on the field, and I’d also like to thank the fans for their encouragement especially given the circumstances of last season.

“As everyone is aware the situation is very uncertain at Derby, so it was important for me to secure my long-term future.”

He added: “I’m incredibly excited about the prospect of joining Palace, as they have an incredible squad and huge potential. I very much hope to contribute positively to the team this season.”

Palace chairman Steve Parish commented on Ebiowei signing by saying: “I’m delighted that Malcolm has chosen Crystal Palace as the best place to continue his development, following his impressive breakthrough into senior football in recent months. He is a highly coveted young player, and we very much expect to provide a platform for him to flourish at the highest level.”

Malcolm Ebiowei Highlights

Here’s a video compilation of Malcolm Ebiowei highlights playing in both youth and professional matches.

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Transfer News

Crystal Palace Announce That Four Senior Players Have Signed 1-year Extensions

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Patrick Vieira hugging James McArthur

On the 8th of June, Crystal Palace published news that the following four senior players had renewed contracts with the club until summer 2023.

  • James McArthur
  • Jordan Ayew
  • Nathaniel Clyne
  • James Tomkins

It was announced in May that Martin Kelly would depart after 8 years at Palace, but these other four senior players have put pen to paper for another year at least. James McArthur was given the captain armband when Milivojevic wasn’t playing so it was important that he renewed.

Jordan Ayew was a regular starter in Vieira’s team especially before he headed off to the Africa Cup of Nations. He works hard for the team which is a good trait to have and Vieira has mentioned that he likes this of him.

Nathaniel Clyne managed to get more minutes in the second half of the season as Palace progressed in the FA Cup and when Ward went out injured. The two will compete for the starting place next season now.

Finally, James Tomkins might have only made 9 appearances for Palace last season, but he’s a needed backup in case Guehi or Andersen get injured. We can see The Eagles also bringing in one other centre back and there’s been talk that Chelsea youngster Levi Colwill could join on a season-long loan after impressing at Huddersfield.

The Crystal Palace Chairman Steve Parish said this about the new deals: “It remains of pivotal importance to get the right balance of youth and experience in any Premier League squad, and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to ensure that these long-standing and experienced players in Jordan, Nathaniel, James and James remain with us for the upcoming campaign.

“Each of them played an enormous role in the progress we’ve all enjoyed in the last year, and we very much expect similar contributions for the season ahead.”

It’s good news that the squad has been reinforced with these contract renewals, but talks between the club and Kouyate are still ongoing. There have been rumours that the Turkish side Trabzonspor are interested in signing the Senegal international.

Palace fans will still be hoping to see new faces signing for the club as well as these contract renewals. For all the latest transfer news, see this page.

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