Left for £0, now starring in Qatar: Vieira had a shocker on Palace’s “top player” – opinion

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Crystal Palace made the daring resolution in the summertime to launch Cheick Kouyate and Patrick Vieira could also be regretting that decision after the 32-year-old’s spectacular begin on the 2022 World Cup.

The skilled midfielder began for Senegal of their Group A opener towards the Netherlands and performed an enormous half within the African aspect irritating the Oranje on Monday afternoon.

It was solely when Kouyate was changed by means of damage that Louis van Gaal’s aspect would be capable of discover the breakthrough, with late objectives from Cody Gakpo and Davy Klaassen incomes them a 2-0 win.

The previous West Ham man was one in every of Senegal’s finest gamers in Qatar, incomes a powerful 7.1/10 ranking from SofaScore for his efficiency, with solely Ismaila Sarr and Youssouf Sabaly (each 7.2) rated larger.

Throughout his time on the pitch, the versatile star would full 18/21 of his passes, together with one key move, in what was an assured midfield show.

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His physicality additionally got here to the fore towards a technically-gifted Netherlands midfield, as he received 50% of his duels and accomplished his one dribble try.

He was additionally a key cause for the scores being stage when he was pressured off after an unlucky damage, as he contributed 4 clearances and two interceptions, with no participant on the pitch finishing extra interceptions.

Contemplating Palace’s lack of defensive choices in midfield, with namesake Cheick Doucoure usually the one pure midfielder in Vieira’s latest beginning lineups, the French supervisor could also be regretting the skilled Kouyate depart.

Throughout his time at Selhurst Park, the Senegal worldwide would make 141 appearances, wherein he contributed three objectives and 5 assists, which included 27 appearances within the Premier League final season.

Scott Dann was filled with reward for Kouyate after a powerful efficiency towards Southampton in 2020, saying:

“He [Kouyate] is a top player; he can play midfield and he showed what he is capable of in the back four. He’s been playing like that since the end of last season.”

It’s no shock that the 32-year-old has been a common with Premier League rivals Nottingham Forest since his Palace departure and after his excellent begin to the World Cup, Vieira might be ruing his resolution to let him go away on a free switch.

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