Crystal Palace complete Doucoure deal

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Crystal Palace have completed the signing of midfielder Cheick Doucoure from Lens.

The Mali international has signed a five-year deal for a reported fee of £18million (€21.3m), rising to over £22m (€26m) with add-ons, and is the third arrival at Selhurst Park since the end of last season, joining Malcolm Ebiowei and Sam Johnstone.

Patrick Vieira guided the club to 12th place in the Premier League in his first campaign in charge, and has now added one of the more impressive performers from Ligue 1 in the 2021-22 season.

Only Aurelien Tchouameni (101), who joined European champions Real Madrid from Monaco last month for a reported €80m fee that could rise to €100m with add-ons, made more interceptions as a midfielder in the French top flight than Doucoure (68) last term.

The 22-year-old scored once and recorded four assists for Lens last season, while only four midfielders in Ligue 1 created more chances from open play than his 41.

Speaking to the club's website after his transfer was announced, Doucoure said: "I'm very happy, I feel a lot of joy and a lot of pride to be a Palace player. I'm proud to be at Palace today."

Vieira will be hopeful Doucoure can fill the void left by Conor Gallagher, who has returned to Chelsea following a successful loan spell at Palace last season.

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