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Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira has been announced as Crystal Palace’s new manager as the Eagles finally end their lengthy search for Roy Hodgson’s replacement. Palace parted ways with Hodgson at the end of the season when the 73-year-old’s contract expired.
Vieira inherits a side that is entering its ninth consecutive year at Premier League level but faces a major overhaul.
Eleven of Palace’s first team squad had their contracts expire on Thursday morning, although some are expected to remain.
The likes of Andros Townsend, Joel Ward, Scott Dann, Gary Cahill and Patrick van Aanholt are currently unemployed.
Vieira has signed a three-year deal with the south Londoners and has express his delight at taking over the south London club.
He has described the job as a ‘project’.
“I am really excited to have this opportunity to return to the Premier League, and manage this great football club, as we begin a new chapter together,” the 45-year-old said upon being appointed.
“It is a project that is really appealing to me, having spoken a lot with the chairman and sporting director about their ambition and plans for the whole club, including the academy.
“The club has fantastic foundations in place after many years in the Premier League, and I hope we can make further improvements and continue to drive the club forward.
“I am also very excited to experience the atmosphere the club’s supporters make at Selhurst Park and away from home too, and I know just how important that can be for the team.”
Club chairman Steve Parish, who led the recruitment process alongside sporting director Dougie Freedman, added: “I’m delighted and excited that Patrick has agreed to join Crystal Palace as our manager following successfully learning his trade at the City Group, and experiencing positive managerial spells at New York City and then Nice, who he led to the Europa League.
“We have a lot to do to prepare in the coming weeks and I look forward to working closely with Patrick and Dougie in bringing in some new faces to help us all to a successful season.”
Vieira was captain of the Arsenal Invincibles side that went unbeaten on their way to winning the Premier League in the 2003-04 campaign.
He signed for the Gunners in 1996 and played 396 times for the club, scoring 32 goals, before departing for Juventus in 2005.
A spell at Manchester City followed later in his career before he managed their EDS (under-21) side.
Vieira took his first senior managerial role in 2018 at New York City FC, who are also owned by the City Football Group.
He was head coach at the MLS side until 2018, when he took over at Ligue 1 club Nice.
The former France international, who appeared 107 times for his country, parted ways with Nice last year.
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