Crystal Palace simply cannot afford to let their influential star leave for Milan and Hodgson must reject offers

Crystal Palace opinion: Hodgson letting Milivojevic leave would be a mistake

According to a report from Italian outlet Calciomercato, Serie A giants AC Milan have set their sights on Crystal Palace captain fantastic Luka Milivojevic.

Milan are seriously worried about the prospect of losing Frank Kessie and Tiemoue Bakayoko in the summer and have Milivojevic lined up as their replacement.

Bakayoko returning to Chelsea at the end of his loan deal is a possibility if the Blues’ appeal to overturn their transfer ban fails. The Italian giants will benefit massively by bringing in Luka Milivojevic this summer but Palace will be the big losers if they allow their skipper to leave.

Not a lot was known of Luka Milivojevic in England when Crystal Palace signed him in 2017. But the Serbian has been worth every penny for the Eagles since his arrival and has been a massive presence in the middle of the park.

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Crystal Palace are currently 13th in the Premier League and a lot of plaudits have gone Wilfried Zaha’s way for his performances this season. Zaha has scored 8 goals and has assisted 7, and deserves every bit of praise he gets but Milivojevic has been Palace’s silent warrior this season.

The Serbian international has scored 10 goals so far this season and despite most of them coming from the penalty spot, he has been a valuable asset to the team.

The 27-year-old has been a leader in the midfield and has provided Roy Hodgson’s side with a much-needed balance between the attack and the defence.

Milivojevic has mainly started as a defensive midfielder and his positioning in central midfield has been a real plus point for Palace this season.

He has provided some much-needed protection to Palace’s backline and is one of the main reasons why Palace have done so well away from home this season.

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The Serb averages 2.3 tackles, 1.9 interceptions, 1.7 clearances and has successfully won 1.4 aerial duels per game so far this season. Milivojevic also averages 1.5 shots, 1.4 key passes, 1.2 crosses and an incredible 3.6 long balls per game so far this season. (WhoScored)

Conclusion

The 27-year-old’s all-round game is an integral part of Roy Hodgson’s side and losing him would hurt the Eagles. A player of Milivojevic’s quality is hard to find.

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Crystal Palace should do everything in their power to keep hold of their skipper and fend off any interest from Milan in the summer.

Written by Shamanth Jayaram

24-year old Electrical engineer turned football writer, born and brought up in Bangalore.

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