Crystal Palace’s revival under Roy Hodgson has seen them win plenty of admiring glances from across the game in recent months for their style of play, with many of you no doubt shocked to see that the Eagles’ captain Luka Milivojevic committed more fouls than any other Premier League player during the 2017/18 campaign.
Having arrived from Olmpiakos in January of 2017, the Serbian became an almost overnight fan-favourite at Selhurst Park thanks to his no-nonsense approach to life in the centre of midfield but despite this, the 27-year-old has never come across as a “dirty” player, either to our fans or those who compete against us from week to week.
Is he combative and tough tackling? Yes, of that there is no doubt but he simply doesn’t have a reputation for being anything other than an honest and hard-working engine at the heart of Roy Hodgson’s side, which is impressive given the numbers attached in the article linked at the top of the page.
Having grown into the role of club captain over the last few months, I’d suggest that Luka is on a par with Wilfried Zaha in terms of his importance to the team’s tactical plans when fit. Of course, the 25-year-old winger was a shoo-in for the Player of the Year award given his goals, assists and generally electrifying displays in red and blue over the course of the season but Luka won’t have been very far behind in people’s affections.
I suppose the fact that Palace fans sing “He comes from Serbia, he’ll f*****g murder ya!” could be held up as a sign of the midfield man’s aggressive playing style but I for one was shocked to see him so far in front of anyone else in terms of fouls when scrolling through the list. He’s obviously extremely good at his job.