Roy Hodgson seals first Crystal Palace signing in Erdal Rakip

Roy Hodgson seals first Crystal Palace signing in Erdal Rakip

The experienced boss has swooped for a midfielder.

Oliver Emmerson

Crystal Palace have completed the signing of Erdal Rakip, joining on loan from Portugese side Benfica.

The Swedish midfielder joins on a six month loan taking him until the end of the season.

Palace were in need of midfield reinforcements given the amount of injuries they're currently suffering with, Eagle stars Yohan Cabaye, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Jason Puncheon all currently side-lined.

Rakip, who has made eleven appearances for the Sweden U21 side, will look to make an impact as he seeks to prove himself good enough for parent club Benfica.

He joined from Malmo, for whom he made his debut at just the age of 16, eventually racking up nearly 100 apperances and over 10 goals before leaving upon the expiry of his contract earlier this month.

Swedish connection

Manager Roy Hodgson will be no stranger to Rakip, given the 70-year-old has a huge amount of history in Swedish football. It's Hodgson's first signing for the Eagles since taking over in September.

Upon signing, Rakip told Palace's official website; "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."

Over a week to wait

His first game could come against West Ham in the Premier League next Tuesday, with Palace having no FA Cup action this weekend after being knocked out by rivals Brighton in the third round.

Palace will make the short trip to the Olympic Stadium to conclude their January schedule, before returning to Selhurst Park to face Newcastle United on February 4, giving Rakip a first opportunity to sample the atmosphere at his temporary club.

Hodgson's side currently 13th in the league, a stunning return after a horrendous start to the season where they lost their first seven league games.