When Eagles Dare: Trailer for Crystal Palace documentary
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Arsenal legend and Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira could attempt to raid his old club for two players this summer after holding preliminary talks with the Gunners, according to reports. Vieira was appointed to replace Roy Hodgson at Selhurst Park earlier this month and will be hoping to build on last season’s 14th-placed finish in the Premier League ahead of the new campaign.
The 45-year-old has not had a job in management since leaving French outfit Nice in December, but has been trusted to lead Palace into a new era as they look to escape the clutches of mid-table.
A large-scale rebuild and a major shift in playing style are likely to be on the cards over the coming weeks and months, with a number of experienced heads leaving the club at the end of last season.
Vieira has already completed the signing of highly-rated teenager Michael Olise, who excelled in the Championship for Reading last time around with 19 goal contributions in 44 appearances.
However, plenty of other additions will be required over the summer to supplement the former Royals man’s arrival, and it seems as though Palace could aim to secure at least two of those from cross-city rivals Arsenal.
The Gunners are open to offers for Calum Chambers and Ainsley Maitland-Niles and have discussed the pair’s availability with Palace, with Vieira reaching out to his former employers in order to utilise his connections in the transfer market, according to 90min.
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Chambers has struggled with a series of injuries during his time at Arsenal, but impressed on occasion towards the back end of last season when called upon to fill the right-back berth.
Meanwhile, Maitland-Niles is believed to be surplus to requirements in north London after failing to set the world alight during a loan spell at West Bromwich Albion earlier this year.
The report claims that Arsenal may also be prepared to part ways with Joe Willock, although Mikel Arteta is weighing up the idea of handing the 21-year-old a fresh opportunity to shine at the Emirates Stadium.
Vieira is said to have contacted Manchester City, the club he played for between 2010 and 2011, in addition to Arsenal as he looks to add some much-needed quality to his ranks at Palace.
The newly-crowned Premier League champions are reportedly keen to sell Dutch defender Philippe Sandler, while a loan move for 20-year-old midfielder Claudio Gomes could also be an option for Vieira.
It remains to be seen whether the Arsenal icon will be successful in his bid to help Palace emulate the likes of Leicester City by firmly establishing themselves as a top-half side in the years to come.
Former Eagles striker Marcus Bent recently suggested that Vieira will look to impose a no-nonsense style of play during his first season in charge and tipped the World Cup winner to extract the very best from Wilfried Zaha, who has been linked with a summer move away in recent weeks.
“I think the players Palace have got are aggressive,” Bent told Football FanCast. “They have always been a tackling side that likes to put their foot in.
“It’s been cultured into them since when I was there. It’s a club where you wear your heart on your sleeve and make sure you make a tackle.
“That was Roy Hodgson’s style of play in a sense. Now I think it’s a style of play where Vieira can implement his traits.
“Wilfried Zaha, going forward, is skilful and a little bit like Thierry Henry, who Vieira played with for Arsenal and France. Maybe Vieira can bring Zaha into a different world of his own if he doesn’t move.
“Vieira needs those sorts of players to stay and bring players in to help him. The back four are solid to a certain extent but it depends on whether they can tweak it a little bit to have a good squad and season.”
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