Crystal Palace To Fight West Ham United For French Midfielder: Good Fit For Hodgson?

Crystal Palace are lining up a move for Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin. According to recent sources, the Eagles are set to clash heads with West Ham United in pursuit of the French midfielder. It is believed that the Gunners are prepared to let go of their 26-year-old midfielder in the January transfer window and is asking around £10m for the player who still has a contract with Arsenal until the summer of 2021. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger left Coquelin out of his Gunners squad that faced Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round match on Sunday because a possible transfer could materialise this month.

The 26-year-old has fallen down the pecking order at the Emirates Stadium this season and has been unable to secure a first-team spot under Arsene Wenger so far. Thus he is looking to switch clubs in January to try and reignite his Premier League career with both Crystal Palace and West Ham ready to pounce on his signature.

The Eagles are looking for a midfield anchorman and Coquelin fits the bill perfectly with his ability to break up play and launch counter-attacks. Arsenal decided to pull him out of their FA Cup tie which is a clear indicator that a buying club would not want him to be cup-tied.

Coquelin has made 160 appearances for Arsenal throughout his time in North London which means that he won’t take time to settle into English football as he is already well accustomed to it.

Crystal Palace are currently in 14th place in the Premier League standings, just two points above the relegation zone. Their recent good run in the league has helped them climb out of relegation trouble for the time being at least.

The Eagles have performed well since the arrival of new manager Roy Hodgson who has completely changed their fortunes for the better. However, Hodgson will be aware that they are still not out of trouble and will need to push on in the second half of the season to make their Premier League lives a certainty for the next season.

The addition of Coquelin this month can go a long way in helping their cause to avoid the drop this term. The French midfielder has featured in 17 matches for the Gunners in all competitions this season. He knows the Premier League well by now and would be the perfect fit in the Eagles midfield as they prepare to face Sean Dyche’s high flyers Burnley in the Premier League. It, however, remains to be seen whether Palace are successful in their efforts to fend off competition from the Hammers in pursuit of the Arsenal midfielder.

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Abhinab Ghosh

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be grunger and not to be a stranger.

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