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March 24 2023 10.31pm

Palace make two late deadline day captures

January 31 2023

Selhurst Park (Photo: Andy Roberts)

Selhurst Park (Photo: Andy Roberts)

Crystal Palace have fared quite well since former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira walked through the door as gaffer in the summer of 2021, writes Tom Toomey.

He led the club to a very comfortable 12th-place finish in his first campaign in charge over the 2021/22 season. And despite a more recent dip in form over the last few games, many believe that he could well be on to achieve the same in the 2022/23 campaign as he continues to reshape the squad in his own way.

Although Palace didn't have a particularly busy summer transfer window when it came to additions to the squad, it turned into quite an interesting January transfer window deadline day.

We saw two late arrivals come into Selhurst Park, in the shape of permanent capture Naouirou Ahamada from German Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart, and highly-rated Arsenal semi youngster Albert Sambi Lokonga, who signs up for the remainder of the year on a loan deal.

It will be interesting to see how Football betting sites react to these captures and how they feel we will perform in the second half of the campaign.

The 20-year-old French youth international midfielder, Ahamada, comes in for a deal worth 9.7million and he has signed a three-and-a-half year deal. He has been in decent form this term, scoring twice and creating two assists in 17 games in Germany's equally disrupted World Cup season.

Belgian holding midfielder Lokonga has made 15 appearances for manager Mikel Arteta across all competitions so far this season.

Speaking to Crystal Palace's Official Site as his signing was announced, Ahamada explained: "Im very happy to have joined this club. It is an amazing club, and Im very excited to get started. I want to show my quality, and I want to help this team with my quality. I want to play games, work hard, train hard and progress, and help the team."

As for Lokonga, he is clearly looking to build on his Premier League experience so far during his spell.

Im really excited I cant wait to get started," he said. "Im really happy to join Crystal Palace. I want to go as far as possible with the team. I will try to push for me and the team to do the maximum to reach the top.

Ahamada is clearly a signing with more of an eye on the future and the next few years given his relative professional experience in the game so far.

But it seems a big selling point from Palace's point of view was his down to earth nature and his mentality to adapt, as he has already experienced the French game, a brief spell in the Italian game with Juventus, and then the German game before making the move to England.

Chairman Steve Parish said of his capture: We are delighted to welcome Naouirou to Crystal Palace. Having already played in three different countries, Naouirou has shown an impressive ability to adapt to new challenges and deliver strong performances in a top league.

"We feel that his profile, skillset and character make him an ideal fit for Crystal Palace and the demands that await for him in the Premier League.

Lokonga comes in with more first team experience, particularly from his spell at Anderlecht and he naturally boasts Europa League experience and has been capped by his country once so far.

Parish added: I would like to welcome Sambi to south London, and am pleased he has chosen to join Patricks squad for the rest of the season, after making an impressive start to life in English football. He has been on our radar for several years since his emergence at Anderlecht, and we very much look forward to his contribution as we push to climb the table."

It will be interesting to see what kind of impact they each have over the next few months.

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