Roy Hodgson has made his first signing as Palace boss with the arrival of Swedish Under 21 international midfielder Erdal Rakip.
The 21-year-old midfielder has signed on loan for the rest of the season from Portuguese giants Benfica who Rakip signed for from Swedish side Malmo earlier this month.
The former product of Malmo’s academy told BBC Sport, “I believe this is a league that suits me and my way of playing. I hope to adapt quickly in order to help the team and show my qualities”.
Rakip made his debut for Malmo in 2013, who Hodgson managed in the eighties, and went on to make 120 appearances for the club. He was part of the side that helped them win the Swedish league title on four occasions and featured in the UEFA Champions League.
Born in Malmo, the midfielder is of Swedish and Macedonian dual nationality with Turkish and Albanian origins. He has appeared for his country at a number of youth levels and helped Sweden to a third place finish at the FIFA U17 World Cup in 2013 held in the United Arab Emirates where he scored his first international goal in the quarter final match against Honduras.
When and where Rakip will feature for the Eagles remains to be seen but having just signed for Benfica, there must be something quite special about this young Swede that turned Portuguese heads. We look forward to seeing what he can offer between now and the end of the season but this is certainly a signing that has been carried out under the radar.
Welcome to Palace Erdal!