Patrick Vieira has been appointed new Crystal Palace manager on a three-year deal ahead of the 2021-22 Premier League season, the club announced on Sunday.
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According to our partners at Sky Sports, Lucien Favre was previously very close to taking the job at Crystal Palace, with Frank Lampard, Eddie Howe, Steve Cooper and Sean Dyche all considered as well.
The appointment of Vieira, who takes over for the recently retired Roy Hodgson at Selhurst Park, fills the last remaining vacancy in the Premier League after Nuno Espiritio Santo took the Tottenham job earlier this week.
The boss’ story so far 💪#CPFC | https://t.co/utMcYSDkhb pic.twitter.com/NRNfuzDd4G
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) July 4, 2021
The 45-year-old Frenchman had been out of work since he was fired by Ligue 1 side Nice in December. Prior to taking the Nice post, Vieira began his managerial career with New York City FC in MLS.
What next for Vieira, Crystal Palace?
Vieira takes over a small (and aging) squad of players at Crystal Palace after 10 first-team players, including the likes of Joel Ward, Gary Cahill, Nathaniel Clyne, Mamadou Sakho, Andros Townsend and Patrick van Aanholt, left the club upon the expiration of their contracts on July 1.
The average age of Palace’s 12 most-used players this season (minutes played) is 29.4 years old. The rebuild for Hodgson’s successor will be no small task.
Four of the 12 players referenced above (Townsend, Ward, Cahill and Van Aanholt) were among the departures after accounting for more than 8,000 minutes played between them last season.
With Crystal Palace having made no signings thus far in the summer transfer window, Vieira does take over a relatively clean slate as he sets out to build a team in his image.
Vieira will begin his tenure by making the short trip to Stamford Bridge, where Crystal Palace will face the reigning European champions, Chelsea, on Aug. 14.