Crystal Palace regret not signing Fulham’s Andreas Pereira for £10m

Dan Owen

It’s not every day a player arrives in the Premier League and almost straight away makes himself indispensable to his new employers.

Cheick Doucoure’s immediately-talismanic status at Crystal Palace, however, was as much the result of his own fine form in the early months of the current campaign as it was the paucity of other high-quality midfield options at Selhurst Park. 

Jeffrey Schlupp and Luka Milivojevic look well past their best, James McArthur has missed most of the season through injury, and Will Hughes failed to win over Patrick Vieira. Doucoure, then, was not only excellent initially but also the best of a rather limited lot.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Crystal Palace - Premier League
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Doucoure, at £21 million, has proved to be excellent value for money since arriving from RC Lens. But the lack of investment elsewhere in midfield, particularly in the advanced areas, remains a major bone of contention among a Crystal Palace fanbase laying the blame for their struggles directly at the door of Steve Parish and co.

That frustration will only be exacerbated by suggestions that Andreas Pereira could have arrived for a bargain £10 million, London rivals Fulham snapping up the then-Manchester United man from under Vieira’s nose. 

Crystal Palace’s loss is Fulham’s gain with Andreas Pereira

According to Goal, Crystal Palace made contact with Pereira during the summer of 2022, claims backed up by Brazilian publication Extra Globo. Now, Palace do tend to operate on one of the division’s smallest budgets but Parish could not argue that Pereira, who joined newly-promoted Fulham for just £10 million, was beyond the club’s financial means. 

The Belgium-born Brazil international might not have emulated the goalscoring feats of last season’s loan star Conor Gallagher. A player so clearly missed at Selhurst Park. But he would have provided the energy, the intensity, the pressing and the creativity Vieira’s rusted, leaking engine room was crying out for. 

Pereira has set up six up assists so far in 2022/23. A tally only bettered by Kevin de Bruyne, Bukayo Saka, Mo Salah and Christian Eriksen. Odsonne Edouard and Jean-Philippe Mateta surely would have found goalscoring chances easier to come by alongside a man with Pereira’s devilish delivery and set-price brilliance.  


“He has been outstanding this season. A lot of people had doubts when I signed him,” Craven Cottage boss Marco Silva tells Fulham’s official website. “But I knew his qualities and his character.  

“Even last season, we had a conversation about his future. But it wasn’t the right moment for him to join us. He’s a key player on and off the ball and with set pieces. A top professional who is enjoying himself at the moment in a white shirt.”

Pereira, according to ESPN, is now valued at around £35 million; European powerhouses Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid expressing their interest in the lead up to the summer transfer window. 

Following a superb spell of recruitment, Fulham fans can be confident that, if Pereira does go, he will be replaced by a man of equal or potentially even greater quality. If only Crystal Palace supporters could place so much trust in their own recruitment team. 

Brentford FC v Fulham FC - Premier League
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