New Crystal Palace signing Erdal Rakip is delighted to have the opportunity of playing in the Premier League with the Eagles after his loan move until the end of the season from Benfica was completed on Monday morning.
The Swedish under-21 international became Roy Hodgson’s first signing as Palace manager, having arrived in Portugal from Malmo at the start of the January transfer window after the expiration of his contract.
“I believe this is a league that suits me and my way of playing,” he said. “It’s fast-paced and physically intense, and I’m a classic, balanced number 6; a box-to-box player who run up and down the field.
“I hope to adapt quickly in order to help the team and show my qualities - I have been training since the season ended and I feel fit and ready to play straight away.”
The 21-year-old is delighted to have the chance to play under Hodgson, who managed at Erdal’s hometown club Malmo during the 1980s and led them to five consecutive league championships to become a legendary figure at the club where Rakip won four titles himself.
“It will be an honour playing for Roy. He is a legend in Malmö and everyone know who he is,” Erdal added. “Crystal Palace is a fantastic club with a lot of history that plays entertaining football, and was the best option for my development and my career at this stage.
“It feels amazing arriving to the best league in the world and to be part of a great team.”
Click here to watch the exclusive first interview with Erdal or if you are viewing on the official club app, simply click Palace TV to view.