Olise in, Ayew out: How Crystal Palace should line up under Patrick Vieira in 2021/22


Olise in, Ayew out: How Crystal Palace should line up under Patrick Vieira in 2021/22


Well, we’re not quite sure what to say about that transfer window.

In very un-Crystal Palace like fashion, Steve Parish and Dougie Freedman scoured through the market to find us some real bargains.

£8m for Michael Olise is daylight robbery, as is £14m for Odsonne Edouard, who scored 86 goals in four years at Celtic.

With Will Hughes, Conor Gallagher, Joachim Andersen and Marc Guéhi also arriving, how does Patrick Vieira fit them into his starting XI?

Let’s see how the Frenchman should bed his new recruits in…

As you can see, we’ve gone for a 4-2-3-1 formation, which seems to be what Vieira has adopted so far this season with Gallagher as a No.10.

However, it has often changed mid-game, so it is a flexible shape.

We’ve actually chosen to put Ebere Eze at No.10, as Gallagher has proven himself to be a tireless runner with a solid tackling ability.

With Cheikhou Kouyate and Christian Benteke not in our XI, there must be some height in the side, hence Luka Milivojevic’s inclusion.

Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Midfield was the hardest area to decide on, as Will Hughes and James McArthur definitely deserve to be included.

In truth, there is no right and wrong in that department – Vieira has options, some more physical than others, to tactically choose from depending on the opponent.

In attack, we have dropped Jordan Ayew, as – despite his hard work – his efforts in attack on the right flank has been painful to watch so far this season.

Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Michael Olise – a natural left-footer – will take his place, and hopefully cut inside to create chances for Odsonne Edouard and Wilfried Zaha.

Behind Olise, Nathaniel Clyne has to play if Vieira persists with this system – it makes Joel Ward stick out like a sore thumb.

Don’t get us wrong, we love Ward, but his ability on the ball is poor, and he won’t overlap into the space created by Olise like Clyne most likely will.

Apart from that, the rest of the backline remains as it has been in recent weeks, with Guéhi and Anderson ahead of Vicente Guaita, and Tyrick Mitchell at left-back.

Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images

Of course, with so many options, we’re not saying this should be the starting XI every single week.

It’s merely a foundation which should cause most teams problems, while the likes of Kouyate, Benteke, Hughes, McArthur and Jesurun Rak-Sakyi can be used tactically depending on the opponent.

The only certainty is that these are very exciting times to be a Crystal Palace fan – now, Vieira must ensure he makes the most of his new additions.

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