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Transfer Rater: Nabil Fekir to Arsenal

Football Whispers
ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Frank de Boer unsure about signing Liverpool's Mamadou Sakho

Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer says he is not sure if Mamadou Sakho will join from Liverpool.

Sakho spent the second half of last season on loan at Palace and played a role as they avoided relegation.

However, no deal to bring him to the club on a permanent basis has been agreed, although De Boer does think he would be a good addition.

"I don't know [about Sakho]," De Boer said. "He was a major player last season, we know what he did. Any player of that quality is a benefit."

Crystal Palace are expected to hand debuts to summer recruits Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Jairo Riedewald on Saturday when they host Huddersfield in the Premier League.

Manchester United loanee Timothy Fosu-Mensah is also in contention for his first appearance, but Yohan Cabaye and James McArthur remain short of match fitness, and Bakary Sako has been ruled out with a knock.

Frank de Boer signed a three-year contract to become Crystal Palace manager this summer.

De Boer denied his plans for Crystal Palace to adopt the popular 3-4-3 formation means they are about to embark on a season of "adventurous and exciting" football.

The expectation since his appointment as manager is that he would attempt to implement the style with which his former club Ajax excelled in the process of winning four Eredivisie titles but he insists his team will be taking few risks.

"Everybody says that 3-4-3 can be very adventurous or exciting but you can also say you're playing with five defenders," he said.

"It's how you look at it. If you have the ball it's very offensive; if you don't you're dropping back and it's very defensive. Louis van Gaal at the World Cup [with Netherlands], he played 3-4-3 or 5-3-2 but they mostly let the opponent get the ball and played in transition with Arjen Robben; Juventus were very offensive.

"It depends how you try to dominate the game; we will try to dominate but we have to be realistic where we came from. We want to be a solid club and there are many good teams in the Premier League so a lot of times we will be pulled back and have the security of five at the back."

De Boer, who in 2012 rejected the chance to manage Liverpool, enters English football following a disappointing spell at Inter, but says he does not have to prove himself again.

"[I'm not here] to prove people wrong," he added. "I knew with Inter that it was quite a hard job but when a chance comes with a major club in the world I'm going to try, even though I knew it would be very difficult.

"They didn't give me enough time so I have to respect that but I'm still confident in my quality."

Of Pape Souare's imminent return, following a career-threatening car crash in which he broke his thigh and jaw, De Boer said: "He's scheduled to make his first minutes in two weeks and it's unbelievable. I already gave a compliment to all the medical staff and the coaches because everyone doubted if he's going to be able to play again.

"What I saw on Wednesday, how he looked, how he moves around, looks very promising so I'm pleased for him he's able to get on the level that he is."


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