Five Facts: Reported Crystal Palace target Pape Souaré

Senegalese international Pape Souaré has been linked, for the second time this window, with a move to Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace have this morning been linked by French newspaper L’Equipe with a move for Lille left-back Pape Souaré. The south London club have apparently made a €4.6 million bid for the Senegalese international.

But who is the 24-year-old left-back? Here are five facts you might not have known...

1) Pape Souaré was part of the Senegal squad that played in the 2012 London Olympics. He played in all three of the group games and was booked in the quarter-finals as they lost 4-2 to Mexico after extra-time.

2) It was in 2008 that Souaré joined Lille from Senegalese side Diambars FC, founded by Patrick Vieira and Bernard Lama. It is becoming famous for delivering young players to France, with team-mate Idrissa Gueye also arriving in Lille from the same academy.

3) After making just 11 appearances in three seasons, Souaré joined Stade de Reims on loan for the season in order to gain some much-needed Ligue 1 experience. He made 23 appearances for the side from the Champagne region and returned to Lille a better player.

4) Last season, Souaré established himself as Lille’s first-choice left-back. Playing in René Girard’s 4-3-1-2 system, the attacking full-back was given full license to get forward and he took the opportunity with both hands. Souaré scored three times, all three headers at the back post, including the winners in the 1-0 victories over Toulouse and Montpellier.

5) Playing in Lille’s back four, Souaré made 33 appearances for Les Dogues as they kept a total of 21 clean sheets. They only conceded 26 goals all season and were hailed as the defensive Kings of Europe.

This season, Souaré has played 12 times in Ligue 1, with nine of those appearances coming from the start. As Lille’s defensive problems have come to light, though, so have Souaré’s limitations. His crossing is far from impressive; rarely does he get down the flank and pick out a team-mate.

All too often he has been caught out of position, his raids forward sometimes punished by his poor positioning.

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