Bakary Sako Has explained the reasons behind his decison to join Crystal Palace ahead of other Premier League clubs, citing the influence of Alan Pardew as one of the key motivating factors to the move.
Despite heavy and persistent interest from West Brom all summer, the Mali international has seemingly chosen to move to South London as a direct consequence of the “attacking football” that was on display at Selhurst Park last season, which, after finishing as the Championship’s top scoring midfielder last season, is clearly of paramount importance to him.
Speaking to the club’s official site about the move, he said:
“I talked to some clubs but when I met Alan [Pardew] I felt a good feeling between him and me and that’s why I chose Palace.
“He plays attacking, attractive football so it should be good to play here and score some goals, that’s why I came to join him.”
I’ve been doing my own pre-season training because Wolves gave me a programme before I left, and my cousin has a small academy so we trained together to keep my fitness levels up.
“I think I’m fit now but it’s in the manager’s hands to pick me so we’ll see how my fitness is.
I want to play lots of games, score some goals and get some assists and enjoy myself. I’m confident about stepping up to the Premier League so we’ll see how it goes.”
To some it may seem petty, but there is always a degree of satisfaction attached to knowing that we have managed to beat off interest from one or more Premier League rivals for an in-demand player. Whilst money will always play a huge role in the deliberations of any transfer target, Sako’s words portray a man who is genuinely excited to get started at the club, having been enthused by our playing style under Alan Pardew last term.
Although he is unlikely to gain a starting place for this weeeknd’s trip to Norwich, you can be sure that the winger will see plenty of game time this season, as we look to diversify our tactical approach away from a basic counter-attacking style, thanks to the growing bevy of ball-playing midfielders throughout the squad.
There are undoubtedly exciting times ahead.