Palace are expected to announce the loan signing of 21-year-old Swedish midfielder Erdal Rakip today, despite reports across Europe confirming that the Malmo star is all set to sign as long-term permanent deal with Portugese giants Benfica at the same time.
From everything I can gather, both Palace and Benfica have been going head-to-head for the signature of Rakip in recent weeks and despite the man himself having decided on a move to Portugal, it has been agreed that he will in fact spend the next six months in SE25 before heading back to Lisbon over the summer.
As you would expect, there have been all sorts of questions from the Palace faithful over why we would settle for a short-term loan of a player we were clearly keen to sign permanently but when you consider the loss of Ruben Loftus-Cheek to what looks to be a serious ankle injury, (as disclosed in Roy Hodgson’s press conference last Thursday) I have to admit that I see the proposed deal as one which makes rather a lot of sense.
Of course we would rather have a player as highly rated as Rakip on our books for years rather than months but thanks to the wretched start we endured to the 2017/18 season, long-term planning must be done in tandem with short-term gap plugging and in Rakip specifically, we appear to have a player who is more than capable of filling the hole left by the aforementioned Chelsea loanee.
If you believe what is said in this report, news of the short-term move to Palace came as a shock to Rakip as well as our supporters but having been given the chance to test himself in the Premier League before making the switch to Benfica, he’s likely to be feeling rather positive about the future for all sorts of reasons.
Let’s hope he lives up the billing he’s received so far.